Still, one can’t help noticing the ease with which the president has been able to compartmentalize, separate the controversy of the day from the business of government. His achievements are real enough. The economy appears healthy, illegal immigration has plummeted, Neil Gorsuch was confirmed, regulations are being undone, the American Health Care Act made it through the House, foreign policy is far more conventional than many had anticipated. Perhaps Trump keeps pouring fuel on the fire because he wouldn’t have it any other way, because he thrives in crisis, revels in it, loves the risk and danger and thrill, wants to struggle, does not know what to do if he isn’t fighting, attacking, insulting, offending, agitating, summoning followers to his side and repelling his adversaries. Meanwhile life goes on.
What works for Trump may not work for the Republican Party, however. And if Trump’s presidency is to have positive and durable consequences on the border, on the courts, on the markets, on the law, he will need Congress. It’s a relationship strained by the feeling of crisis. The Democrats have calculated that their path to the majority depends on outright opposition to anything associated with Trump, and the GOP majority is relatively thin. Senators have power. They are not moved as easily as the House, which as Trump has learned is not exactly intimidated by him either. Does Trump understand that the strength of his presidency rests on the strength of the Republican Congress, that this strength depends on legislative achievement, that the Democrats will move to impeach him the minute they have the House?