How have the first 6 months of the Trump presidency gone? Guess it depends on your perspective.
If you’re a Trump supporter you see great progress. David Gelernter writing in the Wall Street Journal put it this way:
I’d love for him to be a more eloquent, elegant speaker. But if I had to choose between deeds and delivery, it wouldn’t be hard. Many conservative intellectuals insist that Mr. Trump’s wrong policies are what they dislike. So what if he has restarted the large pipeline projects, scrapped many statist regulations, appointed a fine cabinet and a first-rate Supreme Court justice, asked NATO countries to pay what they owe, re-established solid relations with Israel and Saudi Arabia, signaled an inclination to use troops in Afghanistan to win and not merely cover our retreat, led us out of the Paris climate accord, plans to increase military spending (granted, not enough), is trying to get rid of ObamaCare to the extent possible, proposed to lower taxes significantly and revamp immigration policy and enforcement? What has he done lately
No question Trump has done some positive things for the right, but at what future cost? They have a nice originalist judge on the Supreme Court but at the cost reducing Senate confirmation to a simple majority. This leaves it to fate which party actually benefits in the future. Much of the positives cited by Gelernter are executive orders, some simply reverse those of Pres. Obama. A wave Democratic victory in 2020 and it all goes away. At first glance the cabinet is a conservative dream. The question is simply is whether Trump will listen to any of them. The constant undercutting of the members by the President already is costing the group credibility. Maybe this is why the administration is having such a problem filling important open slots. Who likes to work for a boss who doesn’t have your back? Some members have already proven over rated. When he was in the House, Secretary of Health & Human Services Tom Price was heavily involved in writing their Health Care bill. This embarrassment of Obamacare Light was to provide through cuts the money to underpin the Republican Tax cuts. Now not only are they stuck between a rock and a hard place on health care, tax reform is in real jeopardy. With the Presidency and both Houses, and Republicans have a good chance to go into 2018 without a major legislative victory. Also, let’s not forget Trump also took us out of TPP. The just concluded EU-Japan trade deal prompted the Wall Street Journal to editorialize: