Over the last few weeks there has been an increasing pace of destabilisation in the trump Whitehouse, with the chaos only serving to highlight the total lack of real agenda behind the current president. It can realistically be supposed Turmpism has no overarching doctrine, beyond ‘fuck Obama’ and ‘build that wall’.
We’ve heard Trumps highest officials refer to him as a ‘fucking moron’, while senior republicans have broken cover and openly criticised him. This hasn’t been against a backdrop of inaction from the president, who’s been tweeting erratically (as per), and renewing his attempts to dismantle Obamas legacy. While the unfunded Trump Wall© with Mexico is continuing to stumble forwards.
Trumps issue with Obama have been around since 2011, when Tump first voiced his presidential ambitions and questioned Obama’s citizenship. The presidential campaign of last year blew Trumps personal dislike for Obama further into the spotlight, cumulating in the frosty meeting (see below) shortly before Obama vacated the Whitehouse.
In recent weeks as Trump has been more and more isolated, the only serious attempt at policy has been direct attacks on Obamas legacy. Some pundits have said this is Trump trying to soothe his base, for a lack of anything tangible to give them. However against the backdrop of reports that Trump will blithely stand against any proposal which has had Obama’s backing, it seems more likely that an embattled Trump is simply trying to do what he can while he can.
While his most recent moves against the Obama legacy have been somewhat stunted, in that he’s been unable to directly attack them himself and passed them onto Congress to deal with. That doesn’t take away from the stark aggression of them. After his failure to have Obamacare repealed he’s now attempting to make it unviable. As he’s been unable to put any alternative policy in it’s place this leaves a hole in the fabric of the US Healthcare market, threatening millions of insurance plans.
The same sort of stunted aggression has been demonstrated towards the Iran deal. Another of Obama’s greatest achievements, controlling the proliferation of nuclear technology in the Middle East. In the face of almost the entire world’s protests Trump has attempted to undermine, and rescind on the deal. Again he’s largely failed to do this, and again has had to pass the issue over to Congress.
That’s not to say Trumps ideology is totally wrapped around Obama. He’s also got his strong anti-immigration message, historically not a policy area known for being associated with integrity and a strong political philosophy.
Apart from his cruel move against dreamers, another signature Obama policy , Trump seems to have his own thoughts here. Especially with regards to the US / Mexican border. Specifically with regards to building a huge wall along it, at literally any cost, and despite the fact no one wants to fund it.
It was this week that we finally saw the prototypes being wheeled out, showing that in the face of opposition and difficulty funding some construction firms have enough faith in the president to put considerable money and effort into bidding for what will no doubt be a lucrative project. That’s assuming he doesn’t decide to farm the Trump Wall© construction to one of his own firms.
Perhaps Trumps enduring legacy in the medium term will end up being that he raised the prestige of Obama. In the end Obama failed to deliver on many of his ideological aims (Guantanamo to name one), but being the president directly before Trump makes him look angelic. While Trump attempts to vindictively dismantle Obama’s legacy, all he’s doing is enhancing and highlighting the better work his predecessor did. If not beyond his ability to conduct himself properly in office. If Obama’s political legacy survives Trumps onslaught, it would take a braver and more foolish president than Trump to associate themselves with his disastrous attempt to undermine it.