The Corner

Politics & Policy

Trump’s Lame-Duck Dynamic

I think those with their antennae up can sense that Trump’s power is shrinking minute by minute since early Wednesday morning. He’s still the president even when he’s a lame duck. He could order a nuclear strike, or take Air Force One to San Diego for no reason at all, if he likes. But, the big event is over for now. And the grip he seemed to have over some minds is loosening.

For many of us, we realized a great long time ago that there were many rather strong checks on Trump’s power. Not just the formal ones in the Constitution itself, but mostly the defects of his character and his deficiencies as a governing executive. I remember quite clearly a few months ago Trump tweeted something about delaying the election. On The Editors’ podcast, we all noted that this was abhorrent. But we should have laid even more stress on the fact that it was pathetic.

As the Left and institutional liberals internalize the result from last week, they will increasingly meet Trump’s words with a cocky shrug, rather than panic and alarm about the immediate imposition of fascism. Many of Trump’s biggest fans will withdraw too, seeing him as less useful in the battle with the Left. He no longer scares the Left. And so he thrills his fans less than he once did.