For some on the right, clearly, the Constitution was an instrument rather than a principle. It was a means to stop Obama, and has been found lacking.
Trump is a reaction to Obama’s weakness but also to his exaggerated view of executive power. Trump rejects the former, but is comfortable taking up the latter. Whereas Obama has a cool contempt for his political opponents and for limits on his power, Trump has a burning contempt for them. The affect is different; the attitude is the same.
What, after all, is the worst-case scenario for a President Trump’s strongman tendencies? Could Trump defy the law as written and give Congress the back of his hand in order to impose a new immigration system more to his liking? Obama has already done it. A hallmark of Obama’s governance has been to say that he lacks the power to act unilaterally on a given issue, and then do it anyway.
Progressives have been perfectly willing to bless Obama’s post-constitutional government. Trump’s implicit promise is to respond in kind, and his supporters think it’s about time.