After evaluating which areas Trump has made the most progress in, and which areas he has been hijacked and directed 180 degrees away from his campaign views, we can surmise which interest groups are sacrosanct within GOP partisan politics and which are expendable. Likewise when we look back at Obama's campaign promises vs. his actual outcomes in office, we can tell who is "in" and who is "out" within Democrat politics.
Of all the various factions within the Establishment or Deep State, two have the ability to really grind society to a halt that allows them to play primary roles in directing policy. The first is the financial faction, including both Wall Street and the Fed, who can bring the economy to a halt. The second is the military, based in the Pentagon, who can bring physical security to a halt at a national level.
Other factions of the Establishment appear to cluster around either of these two poles rather than serve as third or fourth poles of equal strength (e.g., the less powerful media joining the more powerful Wall Street pole, and the less powerful oil joining the more powerful military pole).
Trump's military policy has clearly been taken over by a boarding party from the Pentagon, resurrecting the Axis of Evil framework of 2002, continuing the Cold War framework from even longer ago. No fewer than three Generals in good Pentagon standing are in his Cabinet (Mattis, Kelly, McMaster). In the recent Congressional funding bill, Republicans scored no major victories except for Defense pork getting a $20 billion boost.
On the other hand, Trump immediately withdrew the US from the TPP, has begun to gut NAFTA as we know it, speculated about breaking up the "big banks" and enacting a new Glass-Steagall Act that would prevent investment banks from running as wild as they have been, and he wants reciprocal taxes vis-a-vis other nations who put tariffs on our exports.
In short, Trump has had free rein to beat up Wall Street and the financial elites, but cannot do more than cosmetic touches to the Pentagon and its military elites.
For Obama, it was just the opposite: he did not let the Pentagon get what they wanted, even if he was more hawkish than you would have expected from the campaign trail. They didn't invade or even strike Syria, didn't surround North Korea, or pick on Cuba. They did get the consolation prize of getting to invade Libya and topple Qaddafi, but they also had to pull most of our troops out of Iraq and diminish our presence in Afghanistan.
Meanwhile the first thing he did was bail out Wall Street, pass the Wall Street lobby's Dodd-Frank Act, then rolled out multiple rounds of "quantitative easing" stimulus packages that propped up the economic elites, and ordered the Fed to keep interest rates at 0. For Obama it was Wall Street who hand-selected his Cabinet, and where he has returned to receive "speaking fees" (pay-offs) after leaving the White House. That was all contradictory to candidate Obama's quasi-populist fulmination against the big banks, Wall Street running amok, and those evil corporate Republicans always trying to provide corporate welfare to the super-rich.
So, Obama could obstruct the Pentagon to a fair degree, whereas anything that Wall Street wanted, Wall Street received.
You see the same with Bush II, who didn't focus nearly so much on juicing up Wall Street, and was focused more instead on driving up the debt by funding the Pentagon's multiple wet dreams (Iraq, Afghanistan, etc.).
Most people forget it was Clinton who repealed Glass-Steagall, re-opening the laissez-faire floodgates in the banking industry. That same year saw a Newsweek cover that made superheroes out of Clinton's Treasury Secretaries and Fed Chairman ("the Three Marketeers" making up the "committee to save the world"). Clinton passed NAFTA and defended it against Bob Dole's challenges during the 1996 re-election campaign, and against Ross Perot's populist campaigns in both elections. Clinton was endorsed in '92 by The Economist, which has endorsed Democrats in every election since then excepting Dole in '96 and Bush in 2000.
At the same time, Clinton didn't let the Pentagon invade Iraq like they had done under the preceding and succeeding administrations. Bomb a little here, bomb a little there, but he did not let the Pentagon get their way.
I won't keep going back through all previous Presidents, but suffice it to say that this pattern goes back through Carter. Before him, it was the Democrats who were the party of hawkish interventionists and labor unionists, while the Republicans were the party of free marketeers and isolationists wary of the military-industrial complex.
Why has the military latched onto the GOP so much in recent decades, and Wall Street so much onto the Democrats? As the parties have become increasingly aligned with liberals or conservatives, it has driven the more conservative military to the GOP and the more liberal financiers to the Democrats.
The voter bases reflect this split as well, with conservatives identifying more with the military, and liberals more with business professionals. This boils down to liberals being more abstract and cerebral, and conservatives being more concrete and physical in orientation (nerds vs. jocks, Jews vs. Celts).
The cognitive vs. corporeal divide also leads the secondary interest groups to either major party. The Democrats are not only the party of Wall Street but of the media, while the Republicans attract not only the military but resource extraction industries (oil, coal, corn -- sugar, bananas, and diamonds in another time or place). It was Clinton who passed the Telecommunications Act in '96, and Obama who practiced laissez-faire toward the internet giants like Amazon and Google. It's Trump who approved two oil pipelines upon assuming office.
The finance and media sectors are both centered in New York City, while the military and resource extraction sectors are more spread out through the red states, especially in the Greater South. That relates back to voting bases via the Electoral College -- the finance party will do well along the ACELA corridor, while the military party will do well in the South.
That's why Obama could give the Pentagon something of the cold shoulder -- they did not get him elected, so what did he owe them? Ditto for Trump -- Wall Street did not get him elected, so what does he owe them?
By now there is a clear tacit understanding between the two major factions of the elites that when a Democrat wins the White House, the financial elites will get their way more than the military elites, and vice versa if a Republican wins the White House.
That's why the Pentagon was so outraged over Trump's attempted reversal of the military elite's goal of continuing the Cold War -- with the Republican Party now holding the magical White House lamp in its hands, it's the Pentagon's turn to have the Presidential genie grant them their three wishes. And that's why the financial elites were quick to send their boarding party into the Obama administration, just in case he got any funny ideas about fulfilling his campaign rhetoric of being both anti-war and anti-Wall Street. After the Republicans feeding at the debt trough during the Iraq War, it was now time for the Democrats to feed at the trough during the bailout marathon.
Curiously, then, Trump's main accomplishments may wind up being Bernie Sanders-style economic populism, instead of the Pat Buchanan-style shake-up in military policy that everybody thought would come more easily to a Republican administration. In the shift away from globalism, we are getting economic nationalism but are still stuck with military globalism, given which party controls the White House.
My initial expectation was that we'd have an easier time with nationalism than populism, but I was naive about how much the Pentagon would go along with Trump's proposed re-orientation away from the Cold War, "re-jiggering NATO", and so on. I figured they had learned some lessons from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and were not pushing as hard under Obama as they had under Bush. Now it seems more likely that they would have loved to continue Iraq and Afghanistan under McCain, but a Democrat President is not beholden to the military for electoral victory, and the Pentagon would not get their wish.
The warmongers were just biding their time until another Republican won the White House, and they have not wasted any time trying to check off all of the remaining Cold War boxes, just in case Trump is a fluke Republican President and they don't get another turn to rub the White House lamp. I'm afraid that means that military policy during the Trump administration will be characterized by the Pentagon going for broke, and we will have to plan accordingly.