President Trump’s first year of “success” features not a single piece of significant legislation. That will likely change as Trump will no doubt sign the GOP tax legislation that will soon hit his desk.
It will give Trump a much needed legislative win heading into 2018. Despite the legislative setbacks, Trump (and by extension, Republicans) should be riding high into a mid-term election year. Low unemployment, a booming stock market and two consecutive quarters of 3 percent or higher GDP growth would have almost any other president with an approval rating in the 50’s at least.
But we’re talking about Donald Trump.
His average job approval sits at just above 38 percent.
For anybody paying attention, it is not hard to figure out why such a strange paradox exists. It does because Trump seemingly cannot open his mouth without something stupid escaping. Trump’s constant bashing of fellow Republicans, the FBI, the intelligence community as well as his juvenile attacks on the media, have not served him well.
Naturally, base supporters love it, but it is difficult to advance an agenda when you lack the political capital to do it.
If Trump spent more time building coalitions with the GOP instead of contributing to its current fractious status, he’d be much better off, as would the party as a whole.
That said, there also seems to be a contingent of Republicans and conservatives so hell-bent on maintaining their loathing for the man that he can do nothing right in their eyes. Whether it’s an Obamacare replacement bill, naming Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, or a tax cut package, they’ll line up to oppose it just because…..Trump.
People shouldn’t be naive enough to think Trump cares about the legislation. He just wants wins. The tax cut package will become law but only because Trump signs it, not because the President helped sell it to the public. Trump couldn’t do that because he knows nothing of what’s in the tax bill. He routinely bragged of it being the “biggest tax cut in history” when it’s not and repeatedly claimed he’d “get killed” (which nobody can confirm) by having to pay more in taxes.
Consider, for a moment, the GOP passing the same tax cut package with President Marco Rubio, President Mitt Romney or President Jeb Bush awaiting to affix their signatures. Does anybody believe Joe Scarborough or Jennifer Rubin would stand in opposition? Of course not.
Their criticism of the tax package stems from their disdain for Trump (though to be fair, Rubin opposed Trump from the start, whereas Joe helped enable Trump all throughout 2015 and into 2016).
There exists a contingent of people who have jumped aboard the Trump train and have done so for financial reward. Kevin Williamson from National Review explains:
As to Frum’s broader argument—that Trump has deformed the conservative movement and that the desire among certain right-leaning activists for position and income has contributed to that—he is of course correct. The contrepreneurs have long been with us and presumably always will be. So long as there’s a living to be made sucking up to power and flattering angry mobs, someone will courageously put on a blue suit and take up the task. And that will be enough to keep Sean Hannity from having to get a real-estate license.
But the overall point made by Charles Cooke and others stands: It does the conservative movement no good to oppose policies they’d otherwise support if anybody else other than Donald Trump resided at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.