Despite a Congress and Senate that appear to be determined to do absolutely nothing until at least 2018, President Donald Trump has been ticking off a number of promises kept to voters.
At The American Conservative, Pat Buchanan writes that the GOP coalition has gone to war against itself. This obviously can’t be a good strategy for winning future elections. Pat believes that without working together, the GOP will watch its chances for reform slip away.
While public approval of his( Trump) performance is at record lows for a president in his first year, he has fulfilled some major commitments and has had some major achievements.
He put Gorsuch on the court. He pulled out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Paris Climate Accord. He persuaded NATO allies to put up more for defense. He approved the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines.
Border security is markedly better. The economic news has been excellent: Record run-ups in the stock market, near full employment, growth approaching the 3 percent he promised. The coal industry has been liberated, and the Trump folks are renegotiating NAFTA.
Free-trade Republicans remain irredeemably hostile to economic nationalism, though countries like China continue to eat our lunch. In July, the U.S. trade deficit in goods was $65 billion, an annual rate of more than $780 billion.
Interventionists continue to push for confrontation with Russia in the Baltic States and Ukraine, for more U.S. troops in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, for scrapping the nuclear deal with Iran.
On social issues, the GOP seems split, with many willing to soft-peddle opposition to same-sex marriage and abortion and wait on a Supreme Court that ignited the culture wars to reverse course with new Trump appointees.
What seems apparent is that the historic opportunity the party had in January, to forge a coalition of conservatives and populists who might find common ground on immigration, trade, border security, spending, culture and foreign policy, is slipping away.
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