The American political system has never quite seen anything like the current opposition to
We are no longer in the customary political landscapes. Usually, the out-of-power opposition -- in this case, the Democratic Party -- offers most of the criticism and all of the alternative policies in order to win in the next election. Instead, Trump has an entire circle of diverse critics shooting at him. But they just as often end up hitting each other -- and themselves.
So far, Trump's most furious Democratic opponents have not been able to offer alternative visions to Trump's agenda that might help them win back
Instead, the aim is to either to remove Trump before his first term is up or to so delegitimize him that he is rendered powerless.
Yet obsessions with Trump often lead to boomerang excesses -- mad talk and visuals, from obscene rants to decapitation art -- that hurt the attackers more than Trump.
Yet the Republican-controlled
Some senators and representatives find Trump too uncouth to support his otherwise agreeable proposals, and they fear (or hope) that he may not finish out his term. Some worry that Trump's low approval rating might hurt their own re-elections. Some are careerists who value getting along more than fighting for the
The result is that when factions of the
One reason Trump has been slow to make major appointments is that he cannot trust the establishment of his own party, many of whom in 2016 signed petitions declaring Trump unfit for office.
At best, some anti-Trump intellectuals and pundits still cannot separate Trump's conservative agenda (which they privately support) from Trump's reality television persona (which they find boorish and beneath the dignity of the presidency). At worst, some are so invested in the idea that Trump would or should fail that their opposition threatens to become an obsessive self-fulfilling prophecy.
The anti-Trump conservative intellectual establishment also does not quite know where to aim its fire. At
The media have given up on impartial news coverage. Some journalists have announced that Trump is so beyond the pale that he deserves only unapologetic critical treatment. Research has shown that network coverage has been overwhelmingly anti-Trump.
At the center of this directed fire is the flamboyant, sometimes polarizing but usually cunning Trump. He is not a stationary target, but instead constantly ducking and weaving with a flurry of executive orders, major
The result of the circular firing squad is a crazed shootout where everyone gets hit.
The media is increasingly discredited and polls more poorly than Trump.
So the circular shooting goes on until someone is left standing -- or all are too wounded to continue.
Forgotten in the hail of 360-degree suicide gunfire is the only story that counts: the welfare of
If Trump grows the economy, creates more jobs and national wealth, achieves energy independence and restores deterrence abroad, all the wild firing will cease. If not, he and his attackers will finish each other off.