If using war and peace as leverage is too risky a proposition — never forget the "fiscal cliff" debacle — there's always money. As things stand, however, it's pretty clear that Trump is setting the agenda and Congress is constantly playing catch-up. It's Trump's Washington, and Republicans are just staffing it. For a Senate institutionalist like McConnell, that must be galling. And it should be.
What is odd about this executive overreach is that Trump's party controls both houses of Congress. Obama did not start relying on executive power, at least on the domestic front, until Republicans took over the House and then the Senate and refused to negotiate with him.
Newt Gingrich, a Trump insider who once taught college history, told Politico that while the new president may have botched the rollout of his executive orders, it's just because the White House is "understaffed and Trump is impatient," adding: "I think some of this stuff is they're learning how to roller skate. They can't understand in advance, they have to do it for the first time."
Congress needs to step up and remind the president to stay in the rink. The consequences if they don't are almost too serious to contemplate.