President Trump has shown repeated frustration over not being able to get things done. Since becoming President, other than things he has done through Executive Orders, his presidency has seen little in the way of legislative success. The repeal and the replacement of Obamacare didn’t pass, tax reform originally was on the slate to be completed by August but has yet to even come to a vote, the building of a border wall remains undone and no infrastructure or immigration bill has been brought to a vote. And this despite the President’s party controls both houses of Congress.
So what’s the problem? Why hasn’t the President been able to get as much done as his predecessors? Well, he only needs to look in the mirror. Let’s think about this for a moment. In the last few weeks, he has publicly said he should never have hired his own Attorney General, who had been his earliest supporter when he was in the Senate. Trump also has been very critical of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, again publicly criticizing him on a couple of different occasions in addition to the Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, when Trump didn’t get what he wanted through Congress. But not to be outdone, Trump has said he would back primary challengers to two sitting Republican Senators, Jeff Flake in Arizona and Dean Heller in Nevada. And that is just his recent attacks on senators and members of Congress in his own party who he needs to help pass his agenda. If we go further back, we can find even more including Trump making fun of Sen. John McCain because he was captured during the Vietnam War.
So President Trump wonders why he can’t get things through Congress. Quit getting not only the opposition mad, but going to the media to talk bad about key members of your own party. For all of his talk about loyalty, it’s clear that it only goes one way in his mind. President Reagan and, to a lesser degree, President Clinton got major legislation through Congress even when it was controlled by the opposition party. Yet Trump can’t do it with majorities in both the House and the Senate. The reason why is pretty clear—at least to everyone but Trump.