Donald Trump
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How is this supposed to work?

In an interview published Friday, Trump’s designated chief White House strategist suggested that the incoming president would pay little heed to Republican orthodoxy on fiscal matters.

“Like [Andrew] Jackson’s populism, we’re going to build an entirely new political movement,” Stephen K. Bannon told the Hollywood Reporter. “The conservatives are going to go crazy. I’m the guy pushing a trillion-dollar infrastructure plan.”

If I were planning a new kind of political movement that involved angering the “orthodox” part of my political party, I’d spend a lot of time reaching out to elected officials from the other party or independents (if there were any). I don’t see Donald Trump doing that so far. He didn’t do much of it in the campaign other than some half-hearted efforts to troll for Sanders’ supporters. And he isn’t doing it now in his cabinet appointments.

I can see Republican officeholders getting in line to a degree, but I can’t see Trump being successful if he’s depending on Democratic votes for more than a small handful of his legislative majorities.

If Trump is going to blow up the budget deficit with Democratic help, he’s going to have to be much more of a compromiser than he’s demonstrated to this point. In fact, it’s basically unimaginable.

Martin Longman

Martin Longman is the web editor for the Washington Monthly. See all his writing at