With nary a peep from his party, Trump has tried to prop up pet industries, such as coal, by government fiat. Indeed, other Republicans have since copied his strategy at the state level.
Likewise, in a move that once would have had Republicans screaming bloody murder, Trump has slapped tariffs on virtually every major trading partner around the world to protect favored industries, such as steel. This not only failed to rejuvenate steel but also led to widespread retaliation, including tit-for-tat tariffs aimed at farm country, a key part of the Republican base.
Trump then decided even more central planning was in order. Again, his party didn’t stop him.
First, the president unilaterally decided to use taxpayer funds to bail out farmers hurt by his trade wars. When that didn’t work, he did it again. In a tweet Friday, he suggested that a third bailout might yet be necessary.