- - Tuesday, January 31, 2017


The opening whistle has hardly faded to an echo, and President Trump has spread his receivers and hitting his targets. Good to his word, he is executing a White House game plan with a no-huddle offense. It’s driven his adversaries to angry frustration. He’s winning, and they’re not.

He’s determined to keep America safe, and no apology. His generals won swift Senate confirmation to lead the departments of Defense and Homeland Security. The president signed an executive order temporarily restricting immigration from terrorist preserves, including Iraq, Iran, Syria, Yemen, Libya, Somalia and Sudan, a list of bad places drawn up earlier by Barack Obama and his administration.

Predictably, the temporary ban on travelers from those nations set off protests at airports in New York, Los Angeles, Seattle and elsewhere. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, New York Democrat, rushed to the microphones to display manufactured tears and to declare, “This executive order was mean-spirited and un-American.” The drama outside the airport terminals outweighed the effects of the temporary bans inside, where 109 of the 325,000 foreign arriving travelers suffered brief inconvenience.

The gamers of radical change, angered by Trump energy and determination, are trying to amp up rage. While legions of demonstrators take to the streets, lawyers hurry to the courtroom to counter the president’s initiatives. A lawsuit filed on a Saturday morning attempted to block the immigration order, and lawyers speculate that the demonstrations are largely the handiwork of organizations funded by radical billionaire George Soros, who seems eager to burn through his considerable booty to torch the Trump agenda.

Above street level, Mr. Trump is at work getting acquainted with his peers. The new president’s conversations with British Prime Minister Theresa May, restoring the “special relationship” to its previous place of honor in the nation’s diplomacy, inevitably evoked the rapport between Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher of a generation ago. He retrieved a bust of Winston Churchill, the British leader during World War II, from a closet where Barack Obama had exiled it. The restoration to a place of honor in the Oval Office underscores the importance of “the special relationship.”

The president’s conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin seemed in answer to media and academic suspicion that Moscow tried to throw the November election to Mr. Trump. They talked of goals they might achieve mutually, such as defeating the Islamic State and radical Islamic terrorism, Russia’s conflict with Ukraine and the pact in the West that preserves Iran’s nuclear program. He spoke to Germany’s Angela Merkel, President Francois Hollande of France and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan. Not a bad day’s work.

Americans are familiar with the Donald’s needling of his adversaries, having watched him dispatch his Republican challengers, one by one, and then Hillary Clinton. His buckling down as the workman who gets things done, as he said he would, is a novelty and perhaps a precedent for Washington.

The new president now takes on the challenge that has sapped the resolve of presidents since Ronald Reagan, cutting down the regulatory leviathan. His “one in, two out” order demands that agencies trying to impose new regulations on Americans must first terminate two existing rules. The net financial burden, he said, should be zero. The benefit for small businesses will be “the biggest such act that our country has ever seen,” Mr. Trump says.

This is fundamental transformation. While his liberal opponents sob and simmer, Mr. Trump makes good on his promises. The pace of the game may be dizzying and even disorienting, but it’s necessary and long overdue to eliminate the gridlock that paralyzes the governing class.

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