In the course of five days, President Trump showed how thoroughly he has conquered conservative activists and the Republican Party.
At the Conservative Political Action Conference last week, the attendees would have carried him in on a litter if they had the opportunity, and Republicans applauded everything he said in his address to the joint session of Congress on Tuesday, including policies that would have been anathema to them as recently as last October.
The GOP reaction to Trump’s (quite effective) speech was one of the night’s fascinating subplots: Would Republicans applaud protectionism? Of course. Would they give a standing ovation to an infrastructure program that would’ve had them scowling in disapproval if Obama proposed it? Yeah, why not? Would they enthusiastically greet talk of paid family leave and investments in women’s health? By all means, sign them up.