Does anyone remember Bob Woodward’s Fear? Or the anonymous New York Times op-ed signaling an internal “resistance” inside the freewheeling Trump administration? It was just a month ago! But it might as well be ancient history.
We must fight the inclination to forget and move on. America has a lazy, half-crazy ignoramus at the helm of our nation-state. An alarming vacuum still exists at the center of American power.
Really. You still should be alarmed.
But lately, at campaign rallies and in an unusually frequent number of press avails, the president appears brimming with confidence. As the kids say these days, he’s got the swag back.
It appears likely, though far from inevitable, that Republicans will lose control of the House of Representatives. Any hope of moving significant legislation through Congress next year would vanish (unless Trump plans on cutting deals with Democrats). Both his administration and his family-run business would be scrutinized and investigated like never before. Special Counsel Robert Mueller could eventually drop the hammer. If Trump is sweating any of these possibilities, it doesn’t show.
One clue to Trump’s newfound serenity can be found in his recent 60 Minutes interview with Lesley Stahl. The economy is good. He’s had a streak of “wins” on trade policy. He has delivered to conservatives their dream of a Supreme Court majority. More important than those momentary victories, I think, was Trump’s description of his overall demeanor on the job. “I very much feel like POTUS,” he said. “I feel very comfortable, yeah.”
Translation: He’s got this thing licked. Being president, while intimidating at first, isn’t so hard.
Now, it’s long been central to the ethos of conservative intellectuals that presidents shouldn’t work too hard at the job. That’s for tryhard liberal presidents — those earnest pretentious professorial busybodies who scheme and dream, day and night, of new and ever-more-intrusive ways of running your life and enlarging the state. George Will’s January 1989 column celebrating Ronald Reagan’s eight years in office is paradigmatic:
Reagan is not only upright at the final bell, he is bouncing on the balls of his feet. He has proven that the presidency is not such a destroyer after all. … The most common, indeed jejune criticism of Reagan is that he did not properly allow the presidency to fill his days, let alone his nights. His immediate predecessor, Jimmy Carter, proudly, even ostentatiously, made the presidency seem crushing. It was …read more
Source:: The Week – Politics