Trump the irresolute

This means that Trump’s latest attempt to kick the can to Congress will end up backfiring if Congress fails to act. Then Trump either will be left attempting to appease his base by actually killing DACA in six months, or he’ll be forced to personally stamp DACA with his own imprimatur.

Trump ran for office as a brute. That was his appeal. But the only brutal thing Trump has done thus far is to refuse to take hard and fast positions and demand that Congress fill the gap. That’s brutal because in 2018, Congress will be up for reelection; Trump won’t. If he loses the House, the Democrats will quickly move to impeach him. Then his biggest problem won’t be a Congress that refuses to fill in the blanks, but a Congress dedicated to Trump’s personal defeat.

In politics, failure to take strong stands — unwillingness to play bad cop — doesn’t end with politicians escaping blame. Trump’s about to learn that lesson the hard way. And he’ll continue learning that lesson until he finds himself isolated. Few people are willing to stand by those who won’t stand up for their cherished beliefs, and a personal desire to escape blame rarely ends with the achievement of that aspiration.