The president deserves much of the credit. He led by example, providing Congress with the firmness of purpose and rigidity of spine that has been for so long lacking. And judging by the body language of congressional leaders, they like winning. Republicans are starting to show the signs of self-assurance that accompany victory.
Democrats, meanwhile, look on agog, unsure how to respond to the new script. To borrow a metaphor from Michael Anton, for years they were the Globetrotters—showboating, confident, sure of a win. And night after night the GOP dutifully played the role of the hapless Washington Generals: there for the show, but destined to lose. Not anymore.
Last April, I advised Republicans to “build trust and a sense of momentum within the party based on victories won together. Small victories will beget bigger ones.” It worked, but just barely. Republican Senators confirmed Neil Gorsuch and a slate of constitutionalist judges, they passed a major reform of the troubled Veteran’s Administration, and they reversed a number of harmful Obama-era regulations.