The ironies of history are never ending. So are the ironies of internet searching. I was fishing about for something on Trump's current state of mind and stumbled on a just-published National Review piece by Rich Lowry that is enlightening and probably accurate to boot. Its conclusion is that in some respects Obama and Trump govern in much the same way.

When you think about it

It actually is pretty obvious but needs to be spelled out. It is really about the difficulty of getting things done in Washington. Here is Lowry's argument prior to any commentary, Lowry says the Trump administration has essentially continued Obama's in respect to Congress.

Both have largely ignored that once proud branch of government.

Power hungry

He says both Obama and Trump, though wildly dissimilar, had a common hunger for power and celebrity. Neither, he adds, has the capacity or aptitude for the sustained work of persuasion needed to budge the legislative branch, Institutionally, "Obama was content to be a loner, and so is Trump," Lowry says.

He goes on to suggest that we now have government by and for the president. He calls it "unilateral rule".

Executive badminton

Lowry says governing has become largely a matter of executive actions and regulatory changes and court contests. He asserts that the decisions on Trump's travel ban have exceeded in impact most legislation.

The shift in governance has not been one-sided. There has been a willingness of Congress to cede broad areas of power to the Chief Executive.

Destroying Congress

Lowry's concern is the hollowing out of Congress so that it is reduced to warding off shutdowns and waiting on the President. He is also concerned with the clannish mode of Trump's rule.

He sees that decisions are often the result of momentary whims.

He does not go to the obvious differences between Trump and Obama. In particular, he ignore's Trump's mental state.

Radical makeover

Another thing Lowry ignores is the role of the one-percent in today's governance. The one-percent will support either party. They will dominate all decisions.

Even the tiffs within the Trump ranks are just that. They do not diverge from allegiance to the one percent. We live within a system that calls the shots and accepts the consequences, which happen to favor the one-percent more and more.


It is also the case that the decline of Congress creates a different presidential pool. Over the long term, the prospect for right or left is not good. Unless there is a broad move to restore some balance between Congress and the White House, we may be prey to endless gridlock and a White House occupied by persons who half the nation hates.