About that Trump ‘autocracy’

About that Trump ‘autocracy’, an editorial in the Wall Street Journal.

As Donald Trump heads into his second year as President, we’re pleased to report that there hasn’t been a fascist coup in Washington. This must be terribly disappointing to the progressive elites who a year ago predicted an authoritarian America because Mr. Trump posed a unique threat to democratic norms. But it looks like the U.S. will have to settle for James Madison’s boring checks and balances.

“How to stop an autocracy,” said a February 7, 2017 headline on Vox, ruminating on a zillion-word essay in The Atlantic on how Donald Trump might impose authoritarian rule. Academics and pundits mined analogies to Mussolini, Hitler and Vladimir Putin. …

Far from rolling over Washington institutions like a tank, Mr Trump seems as frustrated as other Presidents with the limits of his power. He achieved one major legislative goal in tax reform but failed on health care. His border wall isn’t built and he may have to legalise the “Dreamer” immigrants if he wants Congress to approve money for it. Mr Trump’s political appointees still aren’t close to fully staffing the executive branch. …

The real story of the past year is that, despite the daily Trumpian melodrama, the US political system is working more or less as usual.

hat-tip Stephen Neil