Politics & Policy

‘The Age of Unilateral Rule’

My Politico column today:

The Trump administration has been exhaustingly eventful, but almost none of the events have involved Congress.

The beginning of Donald Trump’s presidency has been an extension of the past six years of the Obama administration, when Capitol Hill was largely a sideshow to the main event in the executive branch in general and the Oval Office in particular. Barack Obama and Donald Trump have almost nothing in common, except their modes of governance.

Obama was coolly cerebral and deliberative to a fault, whereas Trump is blustery, instinctual and impulsive. Yet, Obama and Trump are both, in their own ways, attention-hungry celebrities. Obama never demonstrated the patience or aptitude for real persuasion, whether LBJ-style arm-twisting or Reagan-style move-the-needle public argument. Neither has Trump. Institutionally, Obama was content to be a loner, and so is Trump. 

Until further notice, this is the American model — government by and of the president. We live in the age of unilateral rule.

Rich Lowry — Rich Lowry is the editor of National Review. He can be reached via email: comments.lowry@nationalreview.com. 

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