President Trump proclaimed in a freewheeling speech to a conference of conservatives last weekend that “America is winning again.” But his administration has been on a pronounced losing streak over the past week.
Trump is losing ground on top priorities to curb illegal immigration, cut the trade deficit and blunt North Korea’s nuclear threat — setbacks that complicate his planned reelection message as a can-do president who is making historic progress.
Late last week, Trump flew home empty-handed from a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Hanoi — and, within days, new satellite images appeared to show the North was secretly rebuilding a rocket launching site.
On Tuesday, the Department of Homeland Security announced that unauthorized border crossings have spiked to the highest pace in 12 years — despite Trump’s hard-line rhetoric and new policies aimed at deterring migrants.
And on Wednesday, the Commerce Department said the nation’s trade deficit is at a record high — in part due to punitive tariffs Trump imposed on allies and adversaries. Trump vowed throughout his 2016 campaign and during his presidency to shrink the trade deficit, which he views as a measure of other nations taking advantage of the United States.
The story about Trump that continues to get too little attention is that he’s failing miserably on so many fronts, not just because of his incompetence, but also because of the wrongheadedness of his worldview, such as it is. -- gs
* Mike DeBonis and Rachael Bade report that Democrats are actually in a little bit of disarray:
House Democrats erupted into a full-scale brawl Wednesday, challenging leaders over indirectly sanctioning freshman Rep. Ilhan Omar for alleged anti-Semitic remarks amid an outcry over party inaction to President Trump’s divisive comments on race.
In a closed-door session, Democrats protested plans to vote this week on a resolution condemning religious hatred, a measure prompted by Omar’s comments last week suggesting supporters of Israel have “allegiance to a foreign country.”
The remarks have exploded into a larger debate over how Congress should respond to individual racial and religious grievances. It also touched off Democratic concerns that the splintering was overshadowing the newfound majority’s agenda, with Republicans seeking to capitalize politically on the divide.
You may already know my position on this.
* Joshua Partlow, Nick Miroff, and David Fahrenthold report that the person Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr. employed for years as caretaker of their hunting lodge was, guess what, an undocumented immigrant.
“The last several months have shown us how important it is to have a new generation of progressive leadership in Virginia," McElwee emails us, in an apparent reference to the wreckage of scandals involving top Virginia Democrats. “We can walk and chew gum, establishing a Democratic trifecta while making sure it’s progressive.”
This sort of activity by new and aggressive progressive groups on the level of the states will be something to watch for going forward. -- gs
* David Roberts examines what it means to acknowledge the role of luck in your life.
* Wajahat Ali and Rabia Chaudry explain what Jews and Muslims have to gain by listening to one another.