FORT WAYNE – President Trump has been racking up some political wins these recent weeks. The fact that he often talks like some crude guy sitting at a bar rather than the president of the United States can obscure his successes. So can the obsessive desire of his critics that he is seen as failing in everything. 
     
The pundits tried to explain away Trump’s rise in polls by saying it was because he cut a deal with Schumer and Pelosi. That’s just silly. The Democrats who view him as a sexist, racist, war-monger and buffoon would not respond to a pollster that he is doing a good job even if you pulled off every one of their fingernails. 
   
Which raises the critical point that there is no evidence that in a re-vote for president that the Democrats would win. The ups and downs in the polls are caused by the voters who supported Trump even though he was not their preference.   
   
Let me go through some “victories” for Trump for which he gets little credit, and which many political pundits seem to think are losses. He understands that he has to keep the two major parts of the side that doesn’t want Democrats to govern somewhat united even if the so-called analysts do not understand this. Thus some victories look like losses to the biased.  
   
Health care: This has been masterfully handled by Trump in political terms. He has long favored a single-payer system favored by Democrats. I and other conservatives thought that he would undermine Republicans on this issue. He did not. He went along with Speaker Ryan, and backed his proposal – not driving it, it wasn’t his first choice, it was the House Republicans – but it was defeated on the Hill.
   
The Republicans wanted to try again. Trump again backed up the Senate Republicans, twice. They failed. Trump had Vice President Pence, who had been part of the House leadership, justifiably play point. He failed. 
   
The problem is that the Republicans were united in opposition but for many and sometimes conflicting reasons. They favored repeal but were unwilling to risk building a consensus alternative view because they knew it was virtually impossible. It was easier to just yell “repeal ObamaCare.”
   
As for President Trump, it wasn’t his fight though even most of his core wanted it repealed. He let the conservative Republicans try their best. He ran on an agenda alleging that Congress was failing to their job. Trump looked correct.
   
Texas/Florida: The country was, in fact, better prepared for a disaster. Contrary to everything any of us every expected from the president, he stayed in the background and let the system work. While not perfect, the Texas effort, immediately followed by Florida – the nation’s second and third largest states – have been handled in a way that those of us involved in post-Katrina reforms could hardly have hoped for. If this had been done by President Obama, they already would be printing a commemorative stamp of him.

Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands are new challenges. It is a major test for our disaster response system. Logistically they are different challenges from states on the mainland. They do not have strong local tax bases, governments, or island charitable resources. Whether the administration can respond as needed here is important but not relevant to the lack of credit given for its relative success in Texas and Florida.
   
UN speech: Liberals heard fingernails on chalkboard. But they aren’t going to like Donald Trump even if suddenly he preached One Worldism. What many Americans wanted to hear was that a president was putting America first as the oath of office pledges. It often seemed that President Obama was apologizing for America more than advocating for it. It was a minor victory, but it appealed far beyond the core of Trump voters.  
   
Decline in White House chaos:
These days most Republicans love boring days. We wake up hoping the day will be boring. Admittedly, we have that tendency anyway. General Kelly has worked to make this happen to the degree possible.

Piles of backlogged nominations have been forwarded to the Senate. Since the media and liberals on the Hill love such crusades, where are the wails of anguish about unqualified, neo-Nazi, confederate statue-hugging nominees?  Most of the president’s nominees, if you read their biographies, are pretty talented people even if you don’t agree with them. This is a major victory for the president. He said he’d nominate qualified people and he has.
 
And, if these nominations, especially for the courts, are not acted upon in a somewhat reasonable manner, the ground has been laid for the Senate passing a pile of these by a simple majority vote.
   
Talking logically about a wall/fence: The overwhelming majority of Americans want better control of the border. Cranking down his incendiary rhetoric and working toward real solutions is a huge victory.
   
Millionaire athletes disrespecting America: This isn’t about race. Jane Fonda was white. Millions of Americas saw red then too. Trump didn’t create this mess; Colin Kaepernick, groveling owners, and enabling players began this before Trump even announced his campaign. He is just getting the benefits from it.
   
Judge Roy Moore winning the Alabama primary: Why is this bad for Trump? His core supporters won. He backed up the Senate majority leader, even to the point of backing a very flawed candidate against his own base just because the Senate Republicans asked him to. His response to senators will justifiably be: “Hey, I backed you up but I can’t fix your problems.” Meanwhile, Trump “my way or the highway people” are unleashed. If it costs the Republicans the Senate, then it will be a Trump loss but, in all fairness, he couldn’t fix the mess the Alabama establishment created regardless what he did. 
   
President Trump will continue to go up and down in the polls, but finally, not every day is a bad day.

Souder is a former Republican congressman from Indiana.