The chorus of criticism facing President Donald Trump's reluctance in condemning the white supremacist violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, is only the tip of the frustration confronting Republican officials. The president's inclination to pick fights with almost everyone around him (Russian President Vladimir Putin excepted) and to consistently ignore mainstream advice is leading to increased skepticism and disillusionment even among erstwhile supporters.
One sustaining puzzle is Trump's unwillingness to acknowledge that his future political success is dependent upon expanding his ever-diminishing political base, not just trying to maintain it. A president who took office with 46% of the electorate, has seen that figure plunge by a quarter to below 35%, and act with apparent indifference about trying to boost it. He seems more concerned about offending fringe elements within his coalition than trying to reach out and attract new supporters.