CFP: Don’t believe for a minute that Beltway politicians have no fear of Donald Trump, although every conventional political operative will tell that’s the case because Trump lacks “political capital.” That means he’s not very popular right now so politicians figure they will pay no price for ignoring him when he implores them to do things.
But Trump has something past presidents did not have: Nerve. Everyone tells Trump not to pick fights with the Senate Majority Leader? Trump picks them anyway. Everyone tells Trump not to tweet? Trump tweets twice as much. Everyone tells Trump it’s untoward to attack members of your own party? Trump steps it up.
One of the reasons the political class was so uniform in its opposition to Trump was the fear that he would do this very thing. When politicians ignore the priorities of the people for their own selfish reasons, presidents are supposed to just shrug their shoulders. I believe George W. Bush was a much better president than he tends to get credit for, but one of his biggest mistakes was his reluctance to fight with the Republican Congress he had from 2001 to 2006. They were reluctant to do all kinds of things Bush wanted them to do, including health care reform, entitlement reform, tax reform and removing the shackles on domestic energy resources. Bush was raring to go on all these things, but Beltway Republicans preferred to keep spending and taxing in the usual Washington way, so long as they money could go to Republican-approved recipients.
Bush was afraid that a public fight with a Congress of his own party would produce a Democrat Congress. So he did not pressure them, they did very little that they should have done, and we ended up with a Democrat Congress anyway.
But according to conventional thinking, Bush did it the right way. Trump, on the other hand, is an unhinged lunatic because he keep publicly telling Mitch McConnell it’s not OK to not do his job. more here