A Hard Right Turn on Social Issues

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Good Monday morning, 
Here are some of the stories making news in Washington and politics today:
  • Under President Trump, an aggressive regulatory effort has led to policy changes related to gun ownership, gay rights, reproductive choices, immigration and other divisive political issues and points to a fundamental repurposing of the federal bureaucracy to promote conservative social priorities.

  • Stephen K. Bannon, Mr. Trump’s former chief strategist, spared few from criticism in a new interview, going after Republicans, former colleagues and the news media. And he called Mr. Trump’s firing of James B. Comey, the former F.B.I. director, the biggest mistake in “modern political history.”

  • In a trying week, Speaker Paul D. Ryan took shots from his unruly House conservatives, but he deftly channeled their anger onto the Trump administration.

  • When Mr. Trump announced in early August that the opioid crisis was a “national emergency,” he called it “a serious problem the likes of which we have never had.” A month has now passed, and that urgent talk has yet to translate into urgent action.
— The First Draft Team

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How Is President Trump’s Business Doing? Check the Electoral College

Nearly 70 percent of voters in the area around the Trump National Golf Club near Charlotte, N.C., favored President Trump over Hillary Clinton in the election. “How do we get busier?” asked Jennifer Minton, the club's controller. “We only have so many weekends.”

Nearly 70 percent of voters in the area around the Trump National Golf Club near Charlotte, N.C., favored President Trump over Hillary Clinton in the election. “How do we get busier?” asked Jennifer Minton, the club’s controller. “We only have so many weekends.” Jacob Biba for The New York Times

Business is booming here at the Trump National Golf Club.
The real estate office is selling million-dollar homes, the membership roster is nearly maxed out, and the private club is booking a record number of events, including a sold-out “Bag-Lady Luncheon,” where luxury leather handbags were auctioned for a charity that supports military veterans.
“How do we get busier?” asked Jennifer Minton, the club’s controller, during a recent tour of the grounds. “We only have so many weekends.”
It is a very different story in Los Angeles.
The Trump National Golf Club there, a public course, has seen a double-digit drop in revenue from golf in the first six months of 2017 compared with a year earlier, according to documents obtained through a public records request. A large crowd assembled this spring, but they were protesters spelling out “RESIST!” with their bodies.
The divergent fortunes of the North Carolina and Los Angeles clubs reflect a broader pattern across President Trump’s business empire: The red-blue political divide is not only informing the president’s policies, it is influencing his family-owned company’s bottom line.
Read more »
Right and Left: Partisan Writing You Shouldn’t Miss
Read about how the other side thinks. We have collected political writing from around the web and across ideologies.
From the Right
Noah Rothman in Commentary:
“What Trump did is not Clintonian triangulation.”
Mr. Rothman responds to a column by the conservative writer Ben Domenech and the suggestion that the president doesn’t need congressional Republicans. Unlike President Bill Clinton, whose strategy of triangulation and cooperation with Republicans was at least a “boon to himself,” Mr. Rothman contends that “Donald Trump has cut the legs out from under the Republican Party’s congressional leadership to no discernible end.” Democrats, he writes, will only cooperate with this president “insofar as it gives them the power to undermine” him when the time is right. Read more »
From the Left
Josh Marshall in Talking Points Memo:
“Clearly Trump felt that [Mitch] McConnell and [Paul] Ryan are not serving him well enough or loyally enough or both. So he lashed out or tried to damage them. [Chuck] Schumer and [Nancy] Pelosi were simply the most convenient cudgels available.”
It is possible that the president has pivoted. More likely, according to Mr. Marshall, is that Mr. Trump is operating under his “core drive,” which is “dominance.” For this president, political or ideological goals are subordinate to personal ones. Mr. Trump’s politics are driven by a “zero sum vision of human and economic relations,” a need to dominate that can, like in this instance, turn “self-destructive.” Read more »
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