Grading Trump: Week 12

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Grading Trump: Week 12

It’s that time of the week again, when we come together to evaluate the performance of the commander-in-chief, decipher his plans, decrypt his agenda. This was a busy week on the foreign policy front particularly, with a seeming transformation by President Trump from isolationism to interventionism; on the domestic front, Trump continues to bounce between conservative and statist action.

Here’s how Trump has performed so far:

Week 1: B+

Week 2: A-

Week 3: D

Week 4: C-

Week 5: B+

Week 6: B

Week 7: D+

Week 8: D

Week 9: D

Week 10: D-

Week 11: B

As we do every week, we grade Trump on policy, rhetoric, and the in-between (rhetoric that helps shape policy).

Policy: Trump’s foreign policy has shocked the world this week. He came out and reversed himself on NATO, recognizing the importance of the institution; he rejected his old and ignorant position on supposed Chinese currency manipulation; he has come out in favor of ousting Syrian dictator Bashar Assad over the long haul; he’s taken a strong stance against Kim Jong Un’s use of nuclear weaponry in North Korea. Meanwhile, on domestic policy, he’s backed off of his stances against Fed Chair Janet Yellen, the Export-Import Bank, and he’s embraced the possibility of a non-conservative tax plan. On the other hand, Trump signed into law the right for states to reject funding for Planned Parenthood. On foreign policy, we may not know what Trump’s worldview is, but he’s clearly not going to be pushed around publicly; on domestic policy, he remains a mixed bag.

Rhetoric: This has been Trump’s strongest week rhetorically. His words about Syria have obviously been emotionally honest. His stance with regard to China and North Korea demonstrates a shocking humility combined with a willingness to demonstrate backbone. His words on Russian aggression in Syria have been tough. And Trump hasn’t undermined himself with Twitter, either.

The In-Between. Trump’s staffing remains a puzzle. There’s been tons of talk about the ascendant Ivanka/Jared wing of the White House, and the concomitant decline of Steve Bannon. That’s both a good thing and a bad thing: Bannon is a chaos force for bigger government, focused on punishing enemies, but Ivanka and Jared are simply Democrats on most big issues. Still, Trump’s relying heavily on those who do know what they’re talking about, particularly National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster.

Overall, this has been Trump’s best week since the beginning of his presidency. Does it mean that he’ll continue along this trajectory? Who knows? Is his worldview shaping up, or is he simply reacting? There’s no obvious answer.

But for this week, good on Trump.

Final Grade: A-

via Daily Wire

April 14, 2017 at 06:28AM