President Trump has had many achievements this year in the White House. Getting Neil Gorsuch confirmed on the Supreme Court, defeating ISIS, overhauling the tax code (and parts of Obamacare) are just some of the solid record of successes making him on par with many respected predecessors, argues Ramesh Ponnuru in National Review. He has taken strong policy stances this year, engaging in low-grade protectionism against some of the world’s most influential bodies and agreements (NATO, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the UN, etc…). He has also rolled back many of Obama’s regulations and legacies, ranging from climate change to health care to Jerusalem. He has held his own in 2017 and done most conservative Americans who voted for him proud.
Despite the GOP success of passing the tax bill, 2017 was a disastrous year for President Trump, who now holds little sway in Washington, argues Matthew Glassman in Vox. He may have dominated the airwaves and media with bold talk about immigration, loud disapproval over NFL protests, and bullying threats to the UN. However, he showed that he lacks the ability to influence public policy outcomes. For instance, Trump appears to have had little influence over the substance or timing the tax bill that Congress created. Trump seems resigned to merely going along with and signing whatever agenda Republicans set. In contrast to unifying Republicans around his own agenda, he seems content in cheering on their agendas. Trump is a weak president, failing to assert real power.