The preliminaries of the Trump presidency are ending, and difficult though it is to appreciate, the atmosphere is lightening somewhat. It is a little early to opine on the Trump foreign policy, but his first three visits from other government leaders have gone well. He did brilliantly saying publicly to the British leader, Theresa May, that “a strong and independent Britain is a blessing to the world” — a stirring contrast to Obama’s threat, delivered in London, to put Britain “at the back of the queue” if it left the European Union. The conversations with the Japanese prime minister, Shinzo Abe, seemed to go well also, as have conversations with the Chinese president. Comparisons between the Trump references to “America First” and the pre-war isolationist movement led by Colonel Charles Lindbergh have died away, as has most of the alarmist nonsense about Donald Trump. It is no longer possible to frighten the children of America with suggestions that Trump is a reckless warmonger. The exchange with Canada’s Justin Trudeau was virtually a love-in. It remains to be seen what will come of the “notice” that departed national security adviser General Michael Flynn gave the Iranians, but the president will pick his time and send a starkly different message to the groveling to Tehran of his predecessor.
The absurd overreaction to the executive order on admission of people from seven terrorist-wracked or terror-sponsoring states, which have been identified as such by President Obama, is subsiding. The administration will practice enhanced screening at point of processing, and may issue a new order; and presumably, when the vacancy is filled and cant and emotionalism have subsided, will ask the Supreme Court for a reference on the constitutional point of the president’s prerogatives in immigration matters. The partisan publicity-seeking mischief of the Washington State government and a Seattle federal judge cannot be allowed to stand, even on a moot point (if the present order is superseded).