Republican candidates justifying their support for a man who lies about payoffs to porn stars, lies about policies that rip infants from their mothers’ arms and lies about the existence of White House staffers speaking on his own behalf now have more than Supreme Court Justice Neil M. Gorsuch to justify their devotion to the “carnage” president.
For starters, they can point to Trump’s conservative judicial nominees beyond Gorsuch as cause for celebration. But their talking points can also include massive tax cuts, a bigger military budget, regulatory reform and the gutting of the Environmental Protection Agency. Other wedge-issue winners include the planned withdrawal from the Paris climate accords, scrapping of the Iran nuclear deal, undermining Obamacare, moving the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, attacking federal employee unions and promoting extreme immigration policies. Add to that the mocking of political correctness and identity politics, and you have a platform sure to inspire the activists who drive today’s Republican Party.
While many of these policies will drive up the federal debt and diminish U.S. power across the globe, and will likely be reversed by a stroke of his successor’s pen, Trump’s list of “accomplishments” are scratching an ideological itch that establishment Republicans could never reach. This is, of course, because many of his moves will prove to be disastrous in short order. But Trump is not concerned with history’s judgment. He simply wants to stay out of jail and complete his first term.