Meanwhile, Trump’s most indispensable supporters—the Republican senators—looked unconvinced and displeased through the speech’s more pitchfork-waving passages. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has little interest in fighting pharma or launching another round of tariffs against China and Mexico.
Back during the campaign, Trump defenders excused their man’s acknowledged faults by recycling a compliment that President Abraham Lincoln paid General Ulysses S. Grant: “He fights.” But Grant planned his fights. He counted his troops and those of the adversary, reconnoitered the ground, brought up supplies, devised a plan; he didn’t just plunge headfirst against a wall in a spasm of ill temper. Trump doesn’t do any of those things. That’s why this president who talks so much about winning is suddenly losing on almost every political front.