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The paradox of Trump

President Trump's State of the Union
Photo: Jim Bourg, Pool/Getty Images

President Trump’s State of the Union embodied the surprising and frequently baffling ways the president zips across partisan divides. There's not another American politician who in one night could call for creating paid family leave, keeping Gitmo open, making the nuclear arsenal stronger, making prescription drugs less expensive, cracking down on drug dealers, and helping convicted felons get “a second chance.” 

This is the paradox of Trump, which Washington still isn’t used to: Democrats on the whole will likely be so horrified by Trump’s rhetoric on immigration — particularly chain migration — that they'll be loathe to rush to his side on any of the other issues he laid out that they may like, such as infrastructure and prison reform. And Speaker Paul Ryan won’t be his ally on every issue, either; as much of the chamber cheered paid family leave, he sat quietly.