In public forums, at least, President Trump has the Republican Party eating out of his hand. From Patrick J. Buchanan at buchanan.org:
Before the largest audience of his political career, save perhaps his inaugural, Donald Trump delivered the speech of his life.
And though Tuesday’s address may be called moderate, even inclusive, Trump’s total mastery of his party was on full display.
Congressional Republicans who once professed “free-trade” as dogmatic truth rose again and again to cheer economic nationalism.
“We’ve lost more than one-fourth of our manufacturing jobs since NAFTA was approved,” thundered Trump, “and we’ve lost 60,000 factories since China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001.”
Yet a Republican party that embraced NAFTA and voted MFN for China every time it came up gave Trump standing ovations.
“(W)e have inherited a series of tragic foreign policy disasters,” said Trump, “America has spent approximately six trillion dollars in the Middle East — all the while our infrastructure at home is crumbling.”
And from Congressional Republicans who backed every Bush-Obama war — Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen — not a peep of protest, as their foreign policy legacy was being consigned to the dumpster.
Watching Republicans rise again and again to hail Trump called to mind the Frankish King Clovis who, believing his wife’s Christian God had interceded to give him victory over the Alemanni, saw his army converted by the battalions and baptized by the platoons.
One had thought the free-trade beliefs of Republicans were more deeply rooted than this.
“We have withdrawn the United States from the job-killing Trans-Pacific Partnership,” Trump exulted, having just tossed into the trash that mammoth trade deal beloved of Bush Republicans.
GOP champions of the TPP, if there are any left, sat mute.
To continue reading: It’s Trump’s Party, Now