President Trump speaks at Mar-a-Lago. (Alex Brandon/Associated Press)

I wrote last week that President Trump might be on a roll – and maybe he is. But politics is never static: Things change and often they change quickly. Even without a sudden, game-changing event, a look at the political horizon offers some difficult, perhaps bleak times ahead for the president and the Republican leadership in Congress. Without having to look too closely, here is the first cut of some of the difficulties that lie ahead:

  • Repeal and replace hasn’t happened and the so-called Freedom Caucus is smug in its obstruction. If Republicans can’t come together on this issue, it’s a bad sign.
  • Another intra-party fight over the budget is imminent. The administration may insist on including funding for the border wall in its supplemental budget request, which would likely tank what could otherwise be a bipartisan effort to fully fund the government. And Trump would celebrate his 100th day in office with the start of a government shutdown.
  • Nominations and confirmations of overseers to rein in the “deep state” opposition are stalled. Reports of “no one at home” in government departments and agencies are growing.
  • The prospect of addressing tax reform has been dealt a harsh reality check. No one outside the administration believes it will happen this year. Compared with tax reform, repeal and replace is easy.
  • The notion of an “infrastructure bill” hasn’t moved beyond talking points. Ordinarily, this would amount to a colossal money giveaway that should be relatively easy to pass, but budget hawks in the GOP and “resistance” Democrats don’t show signs of wanting to cooperate.
  • Dark clouds are gathering over North Korea as the denial and neglect of the Obama years are beginning to settle on the president’s desk. Kim Jong Un — the “crazy, fat kid” ruling North Korea, as Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) labeled him — better blink fast or something bad might happen. Regardless of who was elected, our next president was destined to face this problem. But here we are, and it now occupies some of Trump’s time every day.

Perhaps apart from the problems caused by President Barack Obama’s disastrous foreign policy legacy, the usual suspects of malcontents and know-it-alls in the Freedom Caucus are at the root of the problems in Washington. According to one House GOP member, Freedom Caucus Chairman Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) is a “pathological liar who isn’t interested in getting to yes.” That anonymous colleague would not say so publicly, but I will. The Freedom Caucus thinks its judgment is better and insights more valid than those of Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), OMB Director Mick Mulvaney, Vice President Pence, HHS Secretary Tom Price and Chief of Staff Reince Priebus — just to start. Who would have thought it would be Republicans saving Obamacare and disregarding a Republican president?

Even though the events are not entirely comparable, let’s remember that the colossal victory President George H.W. Bush had in Iraq in 1990 did not last long. In true Churchillian fashion, Bush was voted out in 1992. The afterglow of Trump’s strike on Syria is not going to last much longer. The president’s pro-growth, conservative policy is going to need a lot of help, and it isn’t going to come from the left.

Democrats today are lazy, cynical, and above all else, intimidated by their own party’s Bernie Sanders wing. As a result, they’ve sheepishly followed their radicals on a path of “resistance” defined by inaction, obstruction and a nonsensical agenda. Without much organization or effort expended from Democrats, Republicans have been stifled by a few recalcitrant GOP blowhards who don’t appear to be close to an epiphany of self-awareness that would make them play a constructive role. So, that’s the bad news.