This does not come as a surprise, and I have long maintained that the only way for Trump to gain more power is if he’s put in a situation where he can rise to the occasion; for example, if there is a major crisis and his powers are expanded, like Bush immediately after 911. The tripartite system of government, by design, leaves both sides unsatisfied. As a consequence of the Las Vegas shooting, the left wants more gun control. We (the right) want sweeping immigration reform; both sides are likely to leave empty-handed.
If he yields, he will be a one term president, and the Republicans, to their immense relief, will be voted out in 2018 and 2020, giving them excuses for not implementing the policy that they run on in elections.
Despite the DACA disappointment, I disagree. Given the left’s dearth of viable candidates [Cory Booker, given his likeness to Obama, probably will give Trump the biggest run for his money], the bar is set pretty low for Trump to win reelection (although the primaries are more uncertain). It’s not like his opponent can hold it against Trump for failing to do the very things that they (the left) oppose. It’s like, “Trump promised to build a wall but failed…vote for me (even though I want more immigration).” The majority of people vote because of identity first, and issues second. Even by the end of Bush’s first term, there were doubts emerging by Republicans about the Iraq war and Bush’s proliferate spending, but he still got reelected. Most people don’t keep track of issues that closely…they just know that the ‘red/blue’ guy is better than ‘blue/red’ guy.
Events so far have been consistent with the Moldbuggian view that elections and all that are as relevant as Queen Elizabeth going in a stagecoach to open the British Parliament. The Permanent Government runs the country day to day, Harvard sets policy, and the American Law Institute, a wholly owned subsidiary of Harvard, legislates.
He wrote that five years ago, yet we want to believe this time is different, and we’re surprised when it’s not. Even in 2016 and early 2017 I saw this coming. There’s a tendency to succumb wishful thinking that ‘Trump is a God emperor’, that ‘Trump signifies a paradigm shift’, or if only we get the ‘right’ people in charge, everything will be fixed. Silicon Valley and elite universities can be likened to the forth and fifth branches of government. The managerial state (and the confusopoly) creates the illusion of progress and activity.
Between DACA, tax cuts, Obamacare, wall, etc. there is a lot of stuff on the table, but progress for the past few months has ground to standstill, and it’s unlikely anything will materialize in the medium-term future. Between 2001-2003 as a consequence of 911 and the dotcom recession, and also in 2009 during the Great Recession, Congress was was more willing to pass legislation, but but given how the economy and stock market keeps humming along, there is probably no sense of urgency to do much. Even if Trump fails to accomplish much in his first term, he can run on the strong economy and strong stock market, and that will probably be good enough to get him past the finish line.