The Atlantic

Trump Is Losing His Battle With the Republican Party

The president’s major achievements all dovetail with longstanding GOP priorities, while nearly all of his distinctive policy proposals have stalled or failed.
Source: Evan Vucci / AP

When President Trump decided to throw his weight behind a plan to slash legal immigration last week, the way many people heard about it was through a pair of dramatic exchanges between reporters and Stephen Miller, a White House senior adviser who is among the hardest of hardliners on immigration in the administration. That made the initiative seem the latest example of how Trump has brought forward a new series of policies that look to pull the U.S. back from the world and keep the world out of the U.S., from his Muslim travel ban to his emphasis on illegal immigration. Even Richard Spencer loves it.

But the plan that Trump endorsed is actually one offered by Senators Tom Cotton and David Perdue, both of whom, while supporters of Trump, are longtime Republicans who entered office before him. A peculiar thing has happened to Trump, the Republican president with the least fealty to the Republican Party’s traditional values, shortest ties, Trump has gotten more done than his critics and opponents might wish, or might wish to admit. But almost everything he has achieved has been directly in line with traditional Republican priorities, while most of the things that are peculiar to Trump have failed or stalled out. Forget the “”: It’s the GOP that’s blocking the president’s agenda.

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