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The Unacceptable Cost of “Taming” Trump

Photo: SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

If the Republicans have contained the president at all, it’s because they agreed to shield him from investigation.

President Donald Trump has enjoyed a small bump in the polls since December, hitting a 40 percent in Gallup’s weekly approval rating for the first time since May 2017. But Trump’s improved numbers are still a testament to how polarizing his presidency is, since this slight rise is due to rallying Republicans. As Gallup notes, Trump’s approval among Republicans rose to 90 percent after the State of the Union speech, but Democrats’ approval of Trump “remained extremely low at 6% last week, while independents’ 33% approval was unchanged.”

These numbers illustrate one of the most defining features of the current political era: the durability and intensification of Trump’s bond with the Republican Party. Over the course of his first year, Trump and the GOP have become one. Abandoning his many unorthodox stances as a candidate, Trump has adopted the policy agenda of conventional conservative Republicans, and in turn he’s been rewarded with the nearly unwavering support of the Republican base and the congressional GOP.

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