In a Washington Post report on Donald Trump’s continuing insistence that he has all the answers to what ails America, a presidential historian lamented that Republicans have all but given up trying to rein in the president’s excesses because they have grown to fear him even more.
Noting Trump’s “go-it-alone” approach to trade policy, involving tariffs, and immigration — with the president threatening to go around Congress and fund his border wall with taxpayer dollars allocated elsewhere — the Post asserted that the president is doing what he thinks will appease his base with an eye on 2020.
“The risky moves mark Trump’s attempt to deliver on two of his core campaign promises in the face of a Democratic House and muted GOP opposition in the Senate, as he seeks to cast himself as a defiant chief executive willing to act alone, no matter the global repercussions,” the report states, adding: “His actions echo the ‘I alone can fix it’ promise he made during his 2016 campaign, a vow that shocked many lawmakers at the time because of its imperial overtones.”
Presidential historian Barbara Perry, of the University of Virginia’s Miller Center of Public Affairs, said those GOP lawmakers are now rolling over for Trump because he refused s to be deterred.
“He just carries forward with what he wants to do, the Constitution be damned, the institutional guardrails be damned, professional guardrails be damned and the leaders of his own party be damned,” lamented Perry. “No one is standing up to him, and they fear him now.”
According to the report, “Trump’s new, unbound phase” is due to Republicans who surround him inside the White House and in Congress throwing up their hands in hopelessness.
At the White House level, aides and appointees who attempted to reason with him are long gone and those who have survived are the ones who encourage his worst impulses or blindly follow along.
“Trump is now surrounded by top advisers and GOP leaders who applaud and embolden his instincts,” the report notes. “Numerous key agencies — including the Pentagon, the Office of Management and Budget, the Department of Homeland Security and the Small Business Administration — are run by acting leaders who have not been confirmed for the posts by the Senate.”
The Post did note that Trump has had a few failures as of late — citing the collapse of his attempt to appoint Herman Cain and Stephen Moore to the Fed — both of whose nominations withered under harsh scrutiny.
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