President Donald Trump's winning streak

Donald Trump may have never had a better time being President.Only a re-election party on the night o...

Posted: Oct 7, 2018 2:05 PM
Updated: Oct 7, 2018 2:05 PM

Donald Trump may have never had a better time being President.

Only a re-election party on the night of November 3, 2020, could possibly offer the same vindication for America's most unconventional commander in chief as the 36 hours in which two foundational strands of his political career are combining in a sudden burst of history.

Brett Kavanaugh

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Trump became an undeniably consequential President when Senate voted Saturday to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, consecrating the conservative majority that has long been the impossible dream of the GOP.

On Friday, Trump had celebrated the best jobs data for 49 years as the unemployment rate dipped to 3.7%, offering more proof of a vibrant economy that the President says has been unshackled by his tax-reduction program and scything cuts to business regulations.

While his 2016 election campaign was most notable for swirling chaos and shattered norms, Trump's vows to nominate conservative judges to the Supreme Court and to fire up the economy were the glue for his winning coalition.

The struggle to confirm Kavanaugh split the country, deepened mistrust festering between rival lawmakers and threatens to further drag the Supreme Court into Washington's poisoned political stew. But Trump stuck with it and ground out a win.

So he has every right to return to voters in the next four weeks ahead of the midterm elections to argue he has done exactly what he said he would do. He now has a strong message to convince grass-roots Republicans that it's well worth showing up at the polls.

Testing the new message

He got his first chance to road-test his new, improved message at a campaign rally in Topeka, Kansas, on Saturday night.

It's ironic that it was Trump, a late convert to conservatism -- not authentic Republicans like President Ronald Reagan, both Bush presidents and beaten GOP nominees Mitt Romney and John McCain -- who finally delivered the Supreme Court majority.

Kavanaugh is Trump's second nominee to reach the court in less than two years, following Neil Gorsuch.

Of course, the Supreme Court win is the culmination of decades of work by conservative activists and was masterminded by the cunning of Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell. But Presidents get credit when they are in the Oval Office when things go well and Trump, whether it is his fault or not, has taken more than his share of criticism.

On Saturday morning, Trump celebrated the imminent vote, praising pro-Kavanaugh women activists while again jabbing protesters opposed to the judge, many of whom said they had their own stories of assaults. His attitude reflected what critics say is a habit of siding with the accused rather than the alleged victims of assaults.

"Women for Kavanaugh, and many others who support this very good man, are gathering all over Capitol Hill in preparation for a 3-5 P.M. VOTE. It is a beautiful thing to see - and they are not paid professional protesters who are handed expensive signs. Big day for America!" Trump wrote.

The President's remarks came as people gathered outside the US Supreme Court building to protest the vote.

A President of consequence

There is more evidence than the soon-to-be reshaped Supreme Court and the roaring economy to make a case that Trump is building a substantial presidency that in many ways looks like a historic pivot point, despite its extremely controversial nature.

Largely unnoticed in the Washington imbroglio over sexual assault allegations against Kavanaugh, the Trump administration is engineering significant changes at home and abroad that often represent sharp revisions of direction from traditional American positions.

This week, for instance, the White House initiated a potentially momentous shift in the US approach to China, recognizing the Asian giant as a global competitor and a threat to American security, prosperity and interests -- reversing decades of policy designed to manage Beijing's ascent as a major power and eventual partner.

The administration is also tightening a vise around Iran in a strategy that threatens to escalate into open confrontation with the Islamic Republic. Elsewhere in the Middle East, a bolstered anti-ISIS strategy has blasted the radical group from its strongholds in shattered Syria. And Trump has rejected decades of US orthodoxy in managing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which could have uncertain results.

Trump's bullying approach to trade negotiations has recently yielded remodeled agreements with Canada, Mexico and South Korea. While he exaggerates how much he changed existing deals, he can still boast that his "Art of the Deal" negotiating strategy -- another core component of his appeal to his supporters -- is working.

An announcement of a deeper slashing of refugee admissions by the United States further cements the "America First" philosophy that has changed global strategic assumptions.

At home, Trump's assault on regulations at agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency is accelerating, in a blitz against what Steve Bannon once called the administrative state that fulfills another long-dreamed-of goal of the conservative movement.

The case against the President

Many of Trump's perceived achievements are hugely controversial, and his opponents will argue that they stain America's image, reverse a march toward human progress and justice, and will ultimately exert a price the nation will be paying for many years to come.

And Democrats carp that Trump is only building off the far more significant economic work of his predecessor Barack Obama in the wake of the Great Recession and argue that his tax cuts sharply worsened inequality and exploded budget deficits in a way that will haunt the economy for decades.

Trump's critics say his approach to the world threatens to buckle the international system of alliances and a rule-based trading system that made America the richest and most powerful nation in US history and a beacon of democracy.

They say his presidency is in fact most notable for a culture of corruption, falsehood and demagoguery.

There is a case to be made that Trump's constant twisting of truth, invention of false political realities and strategy of tearing at the country's racial, gender and societal divides in order to capture and wield power threaten the eternal values and institutions of the nation itself.

This week, the President stood accused of tax fraud after a New York Times investigation into his family finances in the 1990s. And, though special counsel Robert Mueller has gone quiet in election season, Trump's campaign is under investigation to see whether it conspired with a foreign power to win his election.

The voters will choose

Most credible pollsters have the President at only around 40% approval, a level that is rarely conducive to successful congressional elections. Republicans are in danger of losing the House of Representatives, a scenario that could cripple Trump's White House with relentless committee investigations and even the specter of impeachment.

Often the chaos and discord the President sows distracts from more successful aspects of his presidency, and his raging temperament and insistence on waging perpetual political warfare exhaust many voters.

It will be up to voters in November and in 2020 to decide which of the two interpretations of Trump's presidency -- an era of conservative achievement or a disastrous national distraction -- becomes dominant.

But it already seems that Trump's grand design will be difficult for a future President to quickly reverse.

Less than two weeks ago, foreign diplomats at the United Nations laughed at Trump when he boasted about the historic sweep of his presidency -- and there was no doubt that he was, as usual, exaggerating.

But it's also no longer possible to credibly argue -- despite the distracting blizzard of controversy, busted decorum and staff chaos constantly lashing Washington -- that there is not something significant taking place that is changing the political and economic character of the nation itself.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 296745

Reported Deaths: 6783
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto19731230
Hinds18881393
Harrison16780282
Rankin12787265
Jackson12643229
Lee9703161
Madison9484203
Jones8005147
Forrest7250138
Lauderdale6847227
Lowndes6033140
Lamar590980
Lafayette5747113
Washington5229130
Bolivar4620124
Oktibbeha442194
Panola432396
Pearl River4193132
Warren4138115
Pontotoc410771
Marshall404492
Monroe3993128
Union396474
Neshoba3822170
Lincoln3564104
Hancock350277
Leflore3389119
Sunflower319286
Tate303374
Pike301796
Scott295271
Alcorn292463
Yazoo290865
Itawamba290275
Coahoma282069
Tippah279565
Copiah279259
Simpson276680
Prentiss271158
Wayne254541
Leake253172
Marion252778
Covington249780
Grenada248578
Adams235078
George232445
Newton231252
Winston221979
Jasper213845
Tishomingo212965
Attala206870
Chickasaw201453
Holmes182770
Clay179251
Stone173029
Tallahatchie171439
Clarke169672
Calhoun158528
Smith153033
Yalobusha145536
Greene127933
Walthall124540
Noxubee123131
Montgomery122939
Perry122235
Lawrence120621
Carroll119025
Amite112235
Webster111132
Jefferson Davis102731
Tunica99523
Claiborne99129
Benton93924
Humphreys93027
Kemper90423
Quitman77414
Franklin76219
Choctaw69817
Jefferson62827
Wilkinson62427
Sharkey49117
Issaquena1676
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 498076

Reported Deaths: 10094
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson716711387
Mobile36294737
Madison32616468
Tuscaloosa24340421
Montgomery22739519
Shelby22174218
Baldwin19873289
Lee15039157
Calhoun13832293
Morgan13753254
Etowah13390325
Marshall11448211
Houston10124264
Elmore9483190
Limestone9420138
St. Clair9022227
Cullman8984182
Lauderdale8612214
DeKalb8489175
Talladega7606165
Walker6585259
Jackson6545104
Autauga632492
Blount6236127
Colbert6001121
Coffee5264103
Dale4671107
Russell406933
Franklin399878
Covington3993106
Chilton3898103
Escambia379173
Tallapoosa3622143
Clarke344053
Chambers3431111
Dallas3422142
Pike293373
Marion288695
Lawrence284985
Winston258368
Bibb246160
Geneva240370
Marengo238857
Pickens225457
Barbour213651
Hale212269
Fayette202057
Butler201466
Henry183541
Cherokee178039
Monroe166739
Randolph164840
Washington156836
Macon147745
Crenshaw146255
Clay145954
Cleburne139841
Lamar133733
Lowndes132751
Wilcox122925
Bullock117336
Conecuh107024
Perry106127
Sumter99732
Coosa90224
Greene88532
Choctaw55323
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