William Galston on Donald Trump

There are three reasons, I believe, why President Trump’s approval has remained rock-solid in the face of unending controversies and policy fiascoes. First, the economy has kicked into higher gear, spurred by tax cuts, deregulation and Republicans’ now-familiar willingness to enact large budget deficits into policy even as they denounce them in principle.

Second, President Trump has kept faith with the 46% of Americans who voted for him in 2016. He gave economic conservatives the tax cuts and deregulatory policies he advocated during the campaign. Social conservatives have gotten the judicial nominees they were promised, along with policy changes in areas from transgender bathrooms to abortion and religious liberty. And the populist conservatives who put Mr. Trump over the top in key Midwestern states have found an unswerving champion of the nationalist policies—on trade, immigration and putting America first—that energized them during the campaign.

The third reason transcends policy. In Donald Trump, dissatisfied Americans have found a man who resents cultural elites as much as they do, who is as dismissive of convention as they would like to be, and, above all, who fights constantly, retreats rarely, seldom apologizes, and takes every setback as an opportunity to renew the unending struggle.

WSJ.

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39 Responses to William Galston on Donald Trump

  1. Second, President Trump has kept faith with the 46% of Americans who voted for him in 2016.

    This sounds like something that Hillary and her fellow Leftists keep harping about. TDS. He resoundingly won the Electoral College, which is all that matters.

  2. Egor

    Will thinks there have been political fiascos. No, the Deplorables love it every time Trump sticks it to the administrative State and its cronies. The media calls that a fiasco. It’s not a bug, it’s a feature.
    This is the teflon Don and he’s fighting the mother of all cultural wars. Alas, after Trump the deluge.

  3. RobK

    Journos are so unfamiliar with the concept, they use many words to describe winning, without actually saying it.

  4. Mark M

    If you can access twitter, President Donald Prump on promises kept …

    https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1022598236916379648

  5. a happy little debunker

    Still waiting for Madonna to make good on her offer of free blowies for Hillary voters.

  6. Allergy

    Second, President Trump has kept faith with the 46% of Americans who voted for him in 2016

    Tony Abbott note this. You failed miserably to keep the faith of Australians who voted for you.

  7. Cassie of Sydney

    “The third reason transcends policy. In Donald Trump, dissatisfied Americans have found a man who resents cultural elites as much as they do, who is as dismissive of convention as they would like to be, and, above all, who fights constantly, retreats rarely, seldom apologizes, and takes every setback as an opportunity to renew the unending struggle”

    Only Donald Trump had the tenacity and balls to beat the Clinton / Hollywood / Weinstein / CNN / NBC / NYT ticket in 2016. Nobody else could have done it.

    He knows he’s engaged in a culture war. He is our last hope.

    I love President Trump.

  8. Cassie of Sydney

    Allergy
    #2773706, posted on July 27, 2018 at 3:49 pm
    Second, President Trump has kept faith with the 46% of Americans who voted for him in 2016

    Tony Abbott note this. You failed miserably to keep the faith of Australians who voted for you.

    Yep. I don’t think that I will ever forgive Abbott, particularly over 18C.

  9. Tony Abbott note this. You failed miserably to keep the faith of Australians who voted for you.

    I think it needs to be noted that the Australian system is quite different to that of the American system. The Australian PM does not hold or manage the same sort of role as does the US President.

    The US President can’t be white anted and ousted from office like the Australian PM can, no matter how much he may be hated by members of his own party.

    The Australian PM cannot make executive decisions like the US President. The US President approves and signs off on legislation, unlike the Australian PM.

    You cannot compare what Tony Abbott did, tried to do and what was done to him and relate that to Donald Trump.

    I’d take Tony Abbott any day over Malcolm Turnbull and I’m certain many others would do so as well. The former is an honest and genuine person; the latter is a dishonest and disingenuous person. Both have flaws, but those of the latter far exceed those of the former.

  10. Bruce of Newcastle

    unending controversies and policy fiascos

    Fake news.

    In reality there have been few fiascos or controversies. Just solid conservative policy being made in the face of die-in-a-ditch rebellion by the looney Left and the MSM (but I repeat myself).

    What could his Presidency be like if he could actually appoint people to his team and have even a little even handed reporting?

  11. jupes

    The third reason transcends policy. In Donald Trump, dissatisfied Americans have found a man who resents cultural elites as much as they do, who is as dismissive of convention as they would like to be, and, above all, who fights constantly, retreats rarely, seldom apologizes, and takes every setback as an opportunity to renew the unending struggle.

    This.

    The greatest politician of my (adult) lifetime.

  12. Cassie of Sydney

    “You cannot compare what Tony Abbott did, tried to do and what was done to him and relate that to Donald Trump.”

    Bemused, we are not comparing. And I know that our systems of government are very different. However, I don’t believe that Abbott kept faith with many of his supporters. He also went into hiding shortly after being elected when he and Hockey should have been out and about engaging with the electorate about budget repair and so on. He caved and capitulated on 18C. Oh and he signed us up to Paris. Great job Tone.

  13. NB

    From his bio at WSJ:

    William A. Galston writes the weekly Politics & Ideas column in the Wall Street Journal. He holds the Ezra K. Zilkha Chair in the Brookings Institution’s Governance Studies Program, where he serves as a senior fellow. A former policy advisor to President Clinton and presidential candidates, Galston is an expert on domestic policy, political campaigns, and elections. His current research focuses on designing a new social contract and the implications of political polarization.

    All this really means is:
    Domestic policy – Fanny/Freddy, EPA, IR, immigration, DOJ, etc: got all that wrong;
    Political campaigns – whoops, 1000 seats lost over last 10 years. Electorate wrong;
    Elections – See above, plus knew Hillary would win. Electorate gets it wrong, again;
    A new social contract – Don’t read the fine print, just sign.

  14. In Australia the Governor general has some of the reserve power which the USA president has and on these he is advised by the PM and the appointed ministers who are responsible to parliament. The PM advises about the choice of minsters who are then sworn in by the GG (the GG could refuse to appoint a particular minister). The GG signs off on all legislation or Acts of Parliament. The PM can advise to delay or ask the GG not to sign legislation. The PM could advise that the ABC is not complying with their Act and advise the GG who has reserve power to close down the ABC
    John Kerr used his reserve power to dismiss Whitlam and appoint Fraser. In the subsequent election the people agreed with the action. The constitution has not been changed since then.

  15. stackja

    Donald J. Trump
    ‏Verified account
    @realDonaldTrump
    3 hours ago
    The Remains of American Servicemen will soon be leaving North Korea and heading to the United States! After so many years, this will be a great moment for so many families. Thank you to Kim Jong Un.

  16. However, I don’t believe that Abbott kept faith with many of his supporters.

    I give him more leeway and credit. He did some positive things when he became PM, stopping the boats being a major win, but I believe he subsequently came under incredible opposition by the Australian swamp dwellers who stymied him at every turn.

    If you don’t have a supportive team, you cannot succeed. I think his biggest failure was trusting the rats in the ranks. The latter I don’t understand, as anyone looking in from the outside could see what Turnbull, Bishop, Pyne etc were on about from day one.

    I won’t judge because unless you personally live the politician’s life, you can’t know what goes on. I’ve experienced how the public service works and made enemies because I wouldn’t march to the accepted drum beat. But at the end of the day I’ve had the last laugh as I’ve watch the sand castles crumble.

    No, I think Tony Abbott was/is basically honourable and I find it odd that he seemingly receives more vitriol from conservatives than does Turnbull.

  17. .

    The PM could advise that the ABC is not complying with their Act and advise the GG who has reserve power to close down the ABC

    I wish this was how it worked, but no.

  18. Boambee John

    Cassie of Sydney at 1641

    . He also went into hiding shortly after being elected

    The AEC “lost” some Senate votes in WA, necessitating a new election that was delayed (by the AEC?) for some months.

    For better or for worse, TA chose not to do anything that might frighten the WA voters in that extended period.

  19. Tel

    The PM can advise to delay or ask the GG not to sign legislation. The PM could advise that the ABC is not complying with their Act and advise the GG who has reserve power to close down the ABC

    My suggested strategy would be along the lines of this: kick off a court case with a bunch of evidence that the ABC is not complying with Charter and demand the court impose remedial orders; immediately use executive action to dock the ABC budget by enough to sting but not enough to cause real damage, like 5% or something.

    ABC will demand its budget back, but they have no real government authority, so they can:
    [1] Go to Parliament, but nothing can get past the PM unless other members go wobbly;
    [2] Start their own court case, which is slow and there’s already a court case running so they can slug it out;
    [3] Shout and moan loudly, but they do that every day already.

  20. Boambee John

    From memory it was something like 1100 Senate votes, each a sheet close tona metre long.

    How such a stack of paper could have been genuinely lost is beyond my comprehension.

  21. .

    Remember Gillard probably stole the 2010 election. 20,000+ missing votes.

  22. However, I don’t believe that Abbott kept faith with many of his supporters.

    And I might add, do you know why Turnbull remains such a smug prick? It’s because conservatives keep dumping on Abbott and confirming to Turnbull and his cohorts that their perfidy was justified.

  23. Most people are miles behind the Very Stable Genius that is Donald J Trump.
    Remember when he said he could shoot someone in the head in the middle of New York and he wouldn’t lose any support? That’s where we are now, his core support is so baked in and solidified, there is nothing anybody can do about it.
    Not the media, not the Democrats, not the alphabet agencies and not the Never Tump RINOs.

    Once The Donald gets past the mid terms (with an increased majority in the senate and holding the house comfortably) he will really get stuck into his agenda.
    And with a solid Trump supporter in Jim Jordan as House leader, the sky is the limit.

    p.s. The 3rd Q GDP is about to come out. Minimum 4% people. Skilled migrant visas are being dramatically increased due to shortages. A Frigging Mazing.

  24. mh

    First, the economy has kicked into higher gear, spurred by tax cuts, deregulation and Republicans’ now-familiar willingness to enact large budget deficits into policy even as they denounce them in principle.

    This makes it sound like Trump is the one pushing for huge budget deficits.

  25. mh

    2nd quarter, Baa Humbug

    Economists have forecast that the US economy grew 4.1 per cent annualised in the second quarter as consumer spending regained momentum. Mr Trump has, according to a report, told one associate that he expected it to rise as much as 4.8 per cent in the second quarter.

    This is huge. Remember that before Trump all you would hear was that China would be overtaking the USA as the largest economy, it was only a matter of a few years away. Not if but when. Who is saying that now?

  26. rickw

    “The third reason transcends policy. In Donald Trump, dissatisfied Americans have found a man who resents cultural elites as much as they do, who is as dismissive of convention as they would like to be, and, above all, who fights constantly, retreats rarely, seldom apologizes, and takes every setback as an opportunity to renew the unending struggle”

    Basically doing what you said you would do, which is entirely novel in modern politics.

  27. Crossie

    Alas, after Trump the deluge.

    Sad but true. All the Swamp needs to do is wait him out and then get back to business as usual though I fear that will not be enough for them, they will want revenge.

  28. Crossie

    The US President can’t be white anted and ousted from office like the Australian PM can, no matter how much he may be hated by members of his own party.

    The Australian PM cannot make executive decisions like the US President. The US President approves and signs off on legislation, unlike the Australian PM.

    But, as has already been pointed out, if he kept his promises or at least fought hard for what the people wanted he wouldn’t have had the negative poll results and therefore less likelihood of being challenged.

    Tony forgot to dance with the ones who brung him and that’s why he is now a backbencher while Mr
    Harbourside Mansion is about to sell us out yet again to the globalists.

    I find it ironic that an adulterous billlionaire can keep his word better than a staunch Catholic like
    Tony Abbott. Malcolm, on the other hand, is only a nominal Catholic whose ego is greater than any religion on Earth so I expect nothing from him and will get even less.

  29. Crossie

    ABC will demand its budget back, but they have no real government authority, so they can:
    [1] Go to Parliament, but nothing can get past the PM unless other members go wobbly;
    [2] Start their own court case, which is slow and there’s already a court case running so they can slug it out;
    [3] Shout and moan loudly, but they do that every day already.

    It didn’t help that Tony made Malcolm the minister for the ABC. That truism about keeping your friends close and your enemies closer was not true in this instance.

    Abbott is being piled on by conservative voters because even now he sticks his neck out and then retreats. What does he have to lose? He is on the outer and might as well make Malcolm’s life a living hell, we expected payback but his integrity seems to be more important than the country.

    We’ve got nobody, even Craig Kelly has been neutered.

  30. Mother Lode

    Yep. I don’t think that I will ever forgive Abbott, particularly over 18C.

    Don’t know if you are still here, Cassie, but if you are:

    Do you think Abbott could have gotten s18C repealed or changed?

    We now know the mettle of his colleagues and can see now what he would have seen then, so with that in mind what do you think?

  31. .

    Do you think Abbott could have gotten s18C repealed or changed?

    Did he try?

    Remember, he was so popular at one point he could have won a double dissolution, possibly with a double supermajority, but at least a majority in the Senate and a supermajority in the House.

  32. struth

    There are three reasons, I believe, why President Trump’s approval has remained rock-solid in the face of unending controversies and policy fiascoes.

    Just letting you know I didn’t read anymore after that.

    He lost all credibility right there.
    A nobody.

  33. Colonel Crispin Berka, Kings' Fusiliers Corps.

    B..b…but The Collapse Of Donald Trump Has Begun
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a15qwGrlg90

    “Donald Trump conspired with Michael Cohen to pay off multiple other women prior to Election Day in 2016,” the lawyer Michael Avenatti tweeted . “They were also concerned about a pregnancy. Cohen has evidence and info in his possession and it must be released to the public.”

    The collapse of the Trump presidency has been predicted multiple times, but this time it’s the real deal, they say. You wouldn’t call Avenatti a purveyor of fake news, would you?

  34. Bad Samaritan

    struth (11.57pm) Funny huh? I stopped right there too….

    The recent Helsinki shake-out which has the Deep State in total meltdown is a case in point.

    To any half sane person, the hysterical reaction to Donald’s meeting with Vlad is not about what Trump told Putin, but what Putin told (or gave) him, and yet I see hardly any (alleged) journalists pondering this at all…..

    Instead of claiming, without the slightest evidence, that Donald gave something valuable to Putin (like what exactly?) it’s far more likely that Putin gave Trump a couple of USB drives (or similar) with plenty of dirt on all those “were-low-level, are now-high-level” moles and sleepers that he and his pals at the KGB planted decades ago.

    And now that Putin’s going to Washington with boxloads of actual documents and evidence, the Deep State, and their MSM enablers know it’s curtains.

    The guy writing this article is either a f*ckwit, or else a….. well, umm, hmmmm….nah, that’s all he could possibly be.

    BTW: Something Cats might not know, especially since the MSM seems unaware of it too, is that Putin speaks excellent English; to the point where translators have had him correct them.

  35. Black Ball

    What could his Presidency be like if he could actually appoint people to his team and have even a little even handed reporting?

    Bruce I don’t post here often, I learn something every day reading this blog by people who know.
    With regards to what you said, I am reminded of a presentation by Bill Whittle. Very interesting.
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=0jh8qDR9Zm4

  36. Black Ball

    This is the one Bruce sorry. Bias in the media from Bill Whittle
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=FW0sy8w23rU

  37. Jo Smyth

    bemused, I’m with you 90% on Tony Abbott, he didn’t get any support from most of his colleagues who are basically closet Greenies and they obviously had a plan to get rid of him. When I hear him talk in interviews now though, he is full of the right ideas but will never have that killer instinct and still comes across as too willing to appease.

  38. Rob MW

    Understanding Trump as a negotiator and not necessarily a politician is a good start.

    Trump Negotiates, the Press Lies – via Instapundit

    As a lifelong freelancer, I have been in several high-level negotiations in my life — high-level for me, at least, with my career and my family’s future on the line. Sometimes I have been protected by agents who did the talking for me, but the final decisions have always been mine. And here is what I’ve learned.

    Negotiation is movement. The truth is not in any given moment, it’s in the whole process, beginning to end. If someone says, “That’s my last offer,” that doesn’t mean it’s his last offer. If someone says, “It’s over!” that doesn’t mean it’s over. And if someone says he loves you, that doesn’t mean he loves you either. It’s all part of the game. Everyone gets this.

    Donald Trump is a negotiator, as he has told us from the start. Not everything he says means what it means. Not every final decision he makes is final. And just because he says he loves you, that doesn’t mean he does. He’s in motion toward a goal, and the truth is in the motion. By now, most of us get this.

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