Trump isn’t getting what he wants. Neither is the nationalist-populist movement that rallied behind him under the banner: He fights!
He doesn’t fight. He tweets. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) fights. McConnell fights (he fights dirty, if he has to). In 2016, Trump served up bold talk about rolling into Washington and knocking heads: “People back down with Trump.” Not really. All that was needed, he said, was to “get tough.” But tough talk and $4.15 will get you a venti latte in Washington. It won’t get you a wall or a reconfiguration of the American economy.
[Why Trump didn’t build the wall when Republicans controlled Congress]
Sure, Democrats have had to endure the appointment of some new Federalist Society-approved judges, which they hate but which would have been the case under practically any Republican administration. They whine about the tax relief that more than a few of their moneyed constituents quietly welcome. But there has been no reduction in federal spending or in the federal workforce, no meaningful overhaul of any entitlement or welfare program, and no major structural changes to the federal government other than changes in the corporate income tax. Of course they don’t want a Republican president. But a Republican president who prefers an ephemeral Twitter culture war to enduring legislative wins in Congress? One sympathizes with the genuine alarm that Trump may inspire in women or Muslim Americans, but the reality is the country isn’t moving socially in a Trumpian direction: Young people are, in fact, moving to the left on many social issues, almost certainly, in some measure, as a reaction to Trump. Trump’s job disapproval number hit 58 percent in The Washington Post-ABC News poll released last week. He isn’t remaking America in his own image.