Not many surprises in Trump’s first week
The first week in office of President Donald J. Trump has gone about as he said it would, and perhaps not quite as well as expected by those hoping he’d tone down a bit.
Certainly, the week with a hiring freeze, an ambiguous order against the cost of Obamacare, approval of two controversial international pipelines and Trump’s signature border wall went exactly as feared by his opponents.
Throw in ongoing battles with a wounded press corps and it’s about what was expected.
But that’s still not the larger story.
The people who put Trump in office are getting what they were promised in some version: A reined-in EPA and a deer-in-the-headlights federal bureaucracy; policies that seem aimed to ban, or at least make very difficult, the immigration of Muslims to the nation; a fight with “sanctuary” cities that say they won’t participate in deportations of illegal aliens if ordered.
Those are the things that happened. But what they mean in the long run still isn’t quite as clear.
Trump cannot make the CIA institute waterboarding unless he’s holding the bucket. He cannot finance the wall out of federal coffers on his own.
Eventually, there will be lawsuits regarding the EPA, possibly from states and cities and organizations that depend on the agency for federal assistance.
All of this has occurred even before all the dust has settled on Trump’s cabinet appointments or any talk of a Supreme Court justice nomination.
The only clear result appears to be that protests from a variety of corners will be permanent for at least four years.
But the movement that put Trump in office is seeing the beginning of the fruits of its labor, unintended consequences notwithstanding.