Pundits are terrible at predicting presidencies; remember the hymns to the greatness of the Second Lincoln, the New Roosevelt, and the Democratic Reagan that wafted to the heavens during the Obama transition. And the pundits were even worse at predicting Trump’s fate during the election; how many times did they predict his demise? But now, as convinced as ever of his incompetence and their infallibility, the punditocracy is telling us why the Trump administration is doomed to implode.
It’s not that they don’t have some good arguments to make. On the Left, many believe he will be a kind of American Mussolini or Putin, an authoritarian populist who enriches himself while attacking the fundamental institutions of democratic rule. On the Right, the fear is more that he will be an American Berlusconi, accumulating political power which he then fritters away in efforts to enrich himself and his family. Centrist technocrats fear he will be a bull in the global china shop, wreaking havoc through ignorance and carelessness more than malice as he shatters the rare and irreplaceable treasures of liberal world order.