Social conservatives say they've gotten more from President Trump than any other president, and a lot of it will last, Axios' Sam Baker reports.
- Even George W. Bush doesn't measure up, some advocates said, even though he — unlike Trump — was personally a member of the religious right.
The big picture: Activists and advocates are happy with Trump's policies. They are thrilled about his judicial confirmations. But what has really sent them over the moon, they say, is the way he talks about them and their issues — loudly, constantly and without reservation.
What they're saying: "If I could just pick one, I would pick Trump every time. I would pick Trump over any other president in terms of his energy and his commitment and his follow-through," said Marjorie Dannenfelser, the president of the anti-abortion group Susan B. Anthony List.
Trump has overseen a hard push to the right on abortion, LGBTQ rights and religious accommodations. Some of that, you might expect from any Republican president — but Trump has repeatedly upped the ante, going further than even his supporters expected.
- One big example: Moving the U.S. embassy in Israel to move to Jerusalem, which had been a talking point on the right for years.
Evangelical voters "are not only not disappointed that they backed Trump, they will likely back him and support him in even higher numbers in 2020," Ralph Reed, the head of the Faith and Freedom Coalition, told Axios.
What Trump has done:
- On abortion, Trump reinstated and expanded the so-called "Mexico City policy," which says international organizations that receive U.S. funding cannot "perform or actively promote abortion as a method of family planning."
- He eased Obama-era rules designed to protect Planned Parenthood's funding.
- His administration recently banned the use of fetal tissue in government-funded medical research.
- On LGBTQ rights, Trump reversed the Obama administration's decision to let transgender troops serve in combat.
- The White House is planning to roll back Obama-era rules that require adoption agencies receiving federal funding to serve same-sex parents.
- The administration has changed a legal interpretation so that it would no longer be a violation of federal civil rights law for doctors to discriminate against transgender patients.
- A similar reinterpretation also cleared away nondiscrimination rules for housing.
What's next: Some of Trump's executive actions will likely only last as long as his administration. In many cases, he has reversed Obama-era policy decisions — some of which reversed Bush-era policy decisions, and which the next Democratic president could simply reverse again.
- But Trump's ability to reshape the courts will help him build a longer-lasting legacy in other areas — especially abortion.
Go deeper: Read Sam's full piece on the Axios stream.