Six degrees of Trump opposition

Presidents have always had to grapple with most of these blocs. During former President Barack Obama’s tenure, conservative-leaning activists campaigned against the Affordable Care Act, courts blocked some of his key policies on immigration and climate change, and Republicans in Congress opposed his every move.

But Trump’s team, unlike the Obama administration, has publicly announced its intention to take on the press and the federal bureaucracy — so those two groups have had a more adversarial relationship with Trump as compared to Obama. And Obama, unlike Trump, could generally rely on members of Congress from his own party to back him. There was not a “Never Obama” wing of the Democratic Party.

So one way to look at Trump’s challenges is to evaluate how many of these groups are mobilized against him on particular issues. “Mobilized” is a judgment call, and there are borderline cases, so feel free to quibble with exactly where I’ve placed certain examples. But I think the rubric works: The administration is typically in good shape if it’s only fighting one or two groups (or zero), but start piling up the opposition and Trump gets in trouble.