“George W. Bush, but racist.” That’s what Jonathan Chait of New
York magazine says President Donald Trump is turning into
as he abandons some of his more idiosyncratic campaign positions
and starts listening to Republican Party regulars who favor
foreign wars and tax cuts for the rich.
This comparison is unfair — to George W. Bush, who accomplished
things, whether you liked those things or not.
I agree with Chait that Trump is failing to promote and advance a
policy agenda of his own. But the likely result is that he will
do very little, not that he will achieve what a conventional
Republican president would achieve if given a Republican Congress
to work with.
I think Trump is so inept that he will be unable to get a major
tax cut out of a Republican Congress. And I certainly hope I am
right that he is too lazy to start a ground war.
If Trump does not get us all killed, I expect his presidency will
look surprisingly unimportant in retrospect.
Trump’s weaknesses will usually lead to nothing happening
Most policy issues present Trump with three possible policy
actions: A standard Republican thing, a quirky “Trumpist” thing,
or nothing. In most areas, the smart money should be on
In support of his Trump-as-Bush hypothesis, Chait writes:
“Trump’s pledge not to cut Medicaid while replacing Obamacare
with a terrific plan that would include ‘insurance for
everybody,’ with better coverage than they have now, turned…
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