It is, rather, to view the Trump presidency through the “Five Scenarios” lens I crafted shortly after he won the presidency. He would govern, I predicted, as his old Northeastern Republican self; as a passive vessel for the Paul Ryan agenda; as true-blue Bannonite ethnonationalist; as a “people pleaser,” lurching this way and that with his finger to the wind; or, merely and tragically, as an “agent of chaos” who combines elements of each of the preceding four scenarios.
For the first eight months of the Trump presidency, he has amazingly tried and failed to please both Paul Ryan and Stephen Bannon. He couldn’t build a wall or repeal and replace ObamaCare. His neo-American system, where manufacturers and unions alike grovel before his beneficent public works-erecting hand, has dissolved in a flash. And the result, generally, has been chaos. What we had yet to see is the squishy Northeastern and the people-pleaser. Until, that is, the Chuck-and-Nancy deal, after which Trump was reported to have been basking in the glow of positive press notices.