When Donald Trump became the Republican Party’s nominee for president, many conservatives were worried about his tenuous commitment to the party. He hadn’t built up relationships by coming up through its ranks, had little apparent understanding of conservative ideology and was prone to saying things that suggested he harbored some liberal beliefs. Who knew what he might do as president?
But not only has he not disappointed them by governing as some kind of closet Democrat, in fact, Trump may be the most partisan president in memory. And he may be doing it not as part of some kind of plan — indeed, a lot of it is happening with only the barest involvement on his part — but more by what he’s allowing the other Republicans in his administration to do.
I’m going to use the example of the census to show how this plays out, then we’ll consider it in a larger context. Let’s start with this report by Danny Vinik and Andrew Restuccia of Politico: