As the left of center world takes to its safe spaces for grief counseling atop plush divan chairs, the hard business of governing begins. I see five areas where the Trump Administration is likely to focus its early efforts, and the seeds of conflict on the Hill are sown in each.
No matter what else he does, PE Trump needs to deliver on his immigration message. It seems to have been the main rallying cry, and fire that got his whole candidacy moving. I actually believe that he'll be able to get something done on this pretty quickly--it might not be everything his most ardent supporters wanted, but it will be much more than there is today. Plus, I'm not sure his most ardent supporters are all that concened with scorekeeping details.
The second priority--and I think for PE Trump--far behind the first--is infrastructure investment. This is one where he'll run up against a good bit of resistance from the Republican majorities, but perhaps not enough to blunt it, especially given how much this subject acts as catnip to Democrats. Fish gotta swim, builders got to build. President Obama's "stimulus" passed with token R support in 2009, with much of the resistance being ideological. We'll see if R's have Road to Damascus conversions on this. Requirements for union labor or prevailing wage contracts--also catnip to D's--will also enliven this issue. There are real arguments against this on the right, and they will likely be heard.
Healthcare Reform came late to the Trump Campaign, and while it will be a HUGE Congressional priority, I imagine the PE will be somewhat more likely to move slowly on this front. He's already indicated support for keeping some Obamacare provisions (adults under 26 staying on parent insurance--this one has become middle class candy--and pre-existing coverage--which means keeping the individual mandate), so we'll have to see what direction this heads in.
Next is reform of the Veterans Administration. I honestly think PE Trump came to see this issue very clearly on the campaign trail, and if there is a swamp to be drained, I think he sees this one as at the top of the list.
Finally, there is rebuilding the military. I think this one is going to be toughest for him, simply because of the expense of doing anything other than token efforts. With his infrastructure plan almost certainly costing a good deal, there simply may not be a lot left over for defense. Debt financing could obviously cover much of the bill, but here he'll run into ideological problems on the right--because they hate debt--and on the left, because they won't want debt to pay for defense.
A lot to think about here--2017 is going to be an incredibly interesting year.