Wednesday, March 08, 2017

His Maximum Influence is Now

One reason why this Trump experiment may not work out so well: this is the moment of any president's maximum juice. It's the honeymoon period when polls are forgiving. It's the moment when the minority party, chastened by loses of their team, are most compliant, and when the majority party feels most unified and empowered. It is the period before scandal, failure, and baggage. Obama showed that it's possible to be an effective leader through eight years of a presidency, but he had to use the toolkit of the incumbent in his last two years. And even as effective as he was, he couldn't place Scalia's replacement on the court.

This is a structural phonomenon of our system. It's not something presidents can escape--they can only hope, through the use of the increasingly limited levers they possess, to mitigate the weakening. So Trump is right now at the moment of maximum authority. It will diminish month by month until we're in the lead up to the 2018 midterms. And this is why Dems are playing hide-the-ball. The longer Trump's incompetence and chaos prevents the GOP from attending to issues, the less time he has to push them through before his obsolescence kicks in. 

And things are not going well.

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