Politics is a team sport. It’s a basic truth of republican government — one that was even written into the nation’s founding document. The signers of the Declaration of Independence all agreed to “pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.” In short, they would stand together or hang separately, to paraphrase Benjamin Franklin. The stakes were high and they knew they had to rely on each other. Still, every team has its stars and in politics that is the president.
After years in the political wilderness, Republicans have honed their skills as an opposition party to a fine edge, but their electoral success requires that they govern. With control of both houses of Congress and the White House, Republicans need to close the gap between theory and practice quickly.
President Trump acts decisively, reflecting his entrepreneurially background, and expects similar alacrity from Congress. The American people entrusted the GOP with a level of power not seen in nearly a century and they expect results. This is especially true of the party’s most loyal supporters who are tired of excuses from their elected representatives. That sense of frustration, even betrayal, set the stage for the accession to power of Donald Trump.
Remember that Republican voters categorically rejected the party’s dream team during the primary in favor of an outsider who happily overturned many conservative pieties. Not to put too fine a point on it, but Donald Trump ran against the congressional leadership of his own party and won.