Donald Trump can't shake his 'reverse Midas touch'

Image: Donald Trump
President Donald Trump listens during a meeting with law enforcement officials on the MS-13 street gang and border security, in the Cabinet Room of the White...

It's been about six months since Vox's Matt Yglesias described Donald Trump's effects on public opinion as a "reverse Midas touch." It's a straightforward idea: when the president criticizes something, it tends to become more popular.

The evidence to bolster the thesis isn't exactly elusive. As we discussed a few months ago, support for the Affordable Care Act, government solutions to the climate crisis, athletes protesting racism, and even public confidence in American media all improved in the fall, despite -- or perhaps because of -- Trump's criticisms.

But it doesn't stop there. Not long after the president rescinded DACA, support for DACA went up. And then Trump announced trade tariffs as a way to protect the domestic economy, and you can probably guess what happened to public attitudes on trade.

Trade was one of Mr. Trump's signature campaign issues, so his moves should come as no surprise. Public support for them, though, may be less certain. Americans overwhelmingly think trade is more of an opportunity to boost the economy than it is a threat to it, according to new WSJ/NBC News polling that showed support by a 66%-20% margin. And that feeling transcends party lines, as Republicans, independents and Democrats agree that foreign trade is an opportunity for economic growth.

As NBC News' Mark Murray noted last week, in the wake of Trump's controversial new tariffs, support for foreign trade reached "an all-time high."

The president also changed his mind about his agenda on gun policy after meeting NRA officials -- at which point national polling showed souring on the NRA in ways without modern precedent.

What Trump rejects, the public supports. What Trump supports, the public rejects.

I guess the question I keep kicking around in my mind is, how do I get the president to denounce MaddowBlog?