'Try To Deserve This'

01/21/2017 03:02 am ET Updated Jan 21, 2018

That message to our new president, on a handmade sign in yesterday's Inaugural Parade, gets at it for me. Wishful thinking? Maybe. But what else is there, if the country is to survive this.

President Trump's Inaugural Address, pedestrian and accessible, clearly was pitched to his tea party constituency. It struck me as a smart move to show them he won't abandon them upon gaining office. He pointedly dissed politicians of all stripes.

The question is how he uses this reinforced bond with his supporters. He clearly has the power to unleash them on Congress to achieve his agenda.

What is that agenda? Republicans might not be pleased if he rallies these forces for Democratic purposes such as massive infrastructure spending, which he specifically iterated in his Inaugural Address. He has recently said "everybody will get health insurance." He has said Medicare ought to be able to negotiate drug prices. That's not Republican orthodoxy. That's Democratic orthodoxy.

The thing about this guy is that he is a post-partisan populist, despite his wealth, and I suspect Republicans have more to worry about. He's not really one of them, and might use his leverage to upend their world. Even if these views started out as manipulative strategy, I'm convinced he believes it. If nothing else because he knows his success going forward depends on it.

But that might be wishful thinking.
Craig blogs daily at TrailMix.cc