Neil Gorsuch stands a little taller than 6 feet and must weigh somewhere around 180 lbs. He has a healthy frame, one that will more than likely support a long and celebrated judicial career on the Supreme Court. But he can't shoulder the crushing expectations for this Republican government.
Republicans have controlled all the levers of power for seven months now, and all they have to show for it is one gangly, though not unimportant, Supreme Court justice.
Of course, it wasn't supposed to be this way. As soon as Trump came from behind to win it all on election night, conservatives started fantasizing about crushing Democrats under a legislative steamroller. And why not? The GOP was finally at the wheel.
"Buckle up," Vice President Mike Pence told lawmakers gearing up in Philadelphia for a turbocharged session. "My friends, this is our moment," Pence crooned. "We got this far because President Donald Trump marshaled a movement unlike any movement in American history."
They had a 200-day plan to make good on seven years of promises. They'd start out by wiping away Obamacare, then they'd turn their attention to border security and tax reform. No sweat.
But now as Congress leaves for summer recess, it's laughable to remember that Republicans thought they could achieve any of this in seven months.
To be sure, that failure's not completely for a lack of trying. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan at least passed an Obamacare overhaul bill out of the House along with repeal of Dodd-Frank bank regulations, not small achievements. But that legislation is now molding over in the Senate, where nothing seems to get done.
Some will protest that the economy is doing better, that unemployment is down, that maybe just maybe it's morning again in America. But it's not because of Congress. It's in spite of them. Sure, the Trump administration has done a wonderful job of cutting regulations, in some cases in a way that prevents the next Democrat administration from reinstating them. But we've reached the end of the road on using the Congressional Review Act. What Trump does from here out in regulatory terms is temporary.
And so the unhappy conclusion is this: Trump whipped up a movement and, with plenty of his help, Congress wasted it. As lawmakers head home to face their constituents, they only have one big thing to show for their efforts. They've got Justice Gorsuch, and that's not nearly enough.
Philip Wegmann is a commentary writer for the Washington Examiner.