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Analysis: Can a president at war with both Republicans and Democrats govern?


WestVirginiaRebel

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WestVirginiaRebel
523535001

Donald Trump is becoming a president without a party.

From the start of his unconventional campaign two years ago, Trump has been more of a populist than a Republican, from his combative style to his protectionist stance on trade. His ability to reach voters drawn by his personal appeal rather than his party affiliation has been a source of his political strength and possibility in a nation where allegiance to both Republicans and Democrats has eroded.

But the most disruptive week of a disruptive presidency is testing whether other elected Republicans will continue to back him up, and whether he can govern if they don't.

Trump, whose tenure already has worn out use of the word "unprecedented," is ignoring some lessons of history about what presidents need to do to get things done.

"He was elected by a minority vote and, as the polls show, continues to cultivate a populist base that is not a majority," says Harvard professor Joseph Nye, author of Presidential Leadership and the Creation of the American Era. "In contrast, George W. Bush, who also won the presidency without a popular majority vote, moved to the center and reached across the aisle to Senator (Edward) Kennedy and others. Trump has not reached across the aisle, and he has also attacked important senators in his own party.

"This makes it difficult to govern in a country where the constitutional separation of powers requires the executive and legislative branches to cooperate."
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But what if the legislative won't play along?
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1 hour ago, WestVirginiaRebel said:
523535001

 

 
But what if the legislative won't play along?

 

 

That's not their job.

 

Quote

Can a president at war with both Republicans and Democrats govern?

 

Short answer...No.

 

In order for anything (however you define "anything) to get done 2 of the 3 branches need to work together.

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“Trump goes rogue”

Paul Mirengoff

July 31, 2017

 

That’s the title of this New York Times op-ed by Matthew Continetti. He cites the firing of Sean Spicer and Reince Priebus, and says it sends the following message:

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After six months of trying to behave like a conventional Republican president, he’s done. His opponents now include not only the Democrats, but the elites of both political parties.

This is a reasonable interpretation of where Trump is. The question is whether it’s a good place to be.

Continetti gets to this question at the end of his column. He writes that, when it comes to willingness to work with the political class:

 

(Snip)

 

Continetti’s article should be read in conjunction with this story by Dan Balz of the Washington Post. Balz observes that in one week (last week) Trump generated push back from (1) mild-mannered Sen. Charles Grassley, (2) Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., chairman of the Joint Chiefs, (3) the head of the Boy Scouts, and (4) the Suffolk County Police Department.

(Snip)

 

Balz concludes that the multiple pushing back “from the Trump-friendly side of the American electorate should be a signal to the president.” He wonders, though, whether Trump listening?

I think not.

 

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