It isn't unusual, it happens all the time in other areas. Blind support is pretty much never a good thing. What we have here is an excellent and well-documented example of it, with a community whose voting power exceeds that of most other Americans. These people have a mountain of evidence that their town is dying, and at least a few of the people interviewed appear to know about Trump's failures on almost every policy point that he campaigned on, and they refuse to even acknowledge any possible failure on his part. Like the article says, it's less that goalposts have been moved and more that they have been eliminated altogether.
If I may go beyond the article for a bit, the emergence and newfound prevalence of this aptly described "vague personal loyalty" is now combined with a disturbing rejection of former consensus sources of facts. The people interviewed in the article probably watch Fox News exclusively, listen to talk radio when they drive, and go to a church where the pastor is not above shoehorning political issues into his sermons. I understand that this is conjecture, but it accurately describes many of my friends and family who hold similar views to the people in the article. The worry here is that this complete alternate ecosystem of information is leading to a fundamental split within America where opposing views can't even come to the table, let alone reach meaningful consensus. Additionally, toxic or distracting viewpoints can be much more easily circulated within these alternate ecosystems:
“The thing that irritates me to no end is this NFL shit,” Schilling told me in her living room. “I’m about ready to go over the top with this shit. We do not watch no NFL now.” They’re Dallas Cowboys fans. “We banned ’em. We don’t watch it.”
Schilling looked at her husband, Dave McCabe, who’s 67 and a retired high school basketball coach. She nodded at me. “Tell him,” she said to McCabe, “what you said the NFL is …”
McCabe looked momentarily wary. He laughed a little. “I don’t remember saying that,” he said unconvincingly.
Schilling was having none of it. “You’re the one that told me, liar,” she said.
She looked at me.
“Niggers for life,” Schilling said.
“For life,” McCabe added.