We Live In Interesting Times Indeed

The Cubs won the World Series. The FBI declined to prosecute a blatant violation of National Security Law. Donald Trump was elected President of the United States.

Then President Trump was sworn in as President and the progtards and the establishment proceeded to melt down. The Democratic Party returned to their Ante-bellum seccesionist selves…

Victor Davis Hanson offers some insite.

The Metaphysics of Trump

By Victor Davis Hanson, the National Review

Paradox: How does a supposedly bad man appoint good people eager to advance a conservative agenda that supposedly more moral Republicans failed to realize?

We variously read that Trump should be impeached, removed, neutralized — or worse. But until he is, are his appointments, executive orders, and impending legislative agenda equally abhorrent?

General acclamation followed the Trump appointments of retired Generals H. R. McMaster as national-security adviser, James Mattis as defense secretary, and John Kelly to head Homeland Security. The brief celebration of Trump’s selections was almost as loud as the otherwise daily denunciations of Trump himself. Trump’s equally inspired decisions, such as the nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court and Jeff Sessions as attorney general, presented the same ironies.

Most of these and other fine appointments came amid a near historic pushback against Trump, mostly over what he has said rather than what he’s done. But again, do the appointments create a dilemma for his existential critics who have gone beyond the traditional media audit of a public official and instead descended into calls for his removal — or worse? Indeed, removal chic is now widespread, as even conservatives ponder impeachment, invoking the 25th Amendment for mental unfitness, while the more radical (here and abroad and both Right and Left) either abstractly or concretely ponder a coup or some other road to his demise.

No regular reader of Wizbang will mistake me for a Trump partisan. As I wrote on Inauguration Day:

I agree with Glenn Reynolds who notes that President Trump has already exceeded his expectations. Then again, that is a low bar.

That having been said, I both hope and pray that he does well, and acts in the best interests of the Nation as a whole and the Constitution.

Since I am in no way emotionally invested in him as a politician, failure on his part to do and act as I hope and pray is merely reason to work to replace him at the earliest opportunity..

I note for the record that the earliest opportunity will be January of 2021.

Doctor Hanson continues:

Again, the point is, How do critics square the circle of damning Trump as singularly unfit while simultaneously praising his inspired appointees, who, if they were to adopt a similar mindset, would never set foot in a Trump White House? How does someone so unqualified still manage to listen to advice or follow his own instincts to appoint so many willing, gifted public servants — at a time, we are told, when nearly the entire diplomatic and security establishment in Washington refuses to work for such a reprobate?

The same disconnect holds true for Trump’s executive orders. Except for the rocky rollout of the temporary ban on immigration — since rectified and reformulated — his executive orders seem inspired and likely to restore the rule of law, curb endless and burdensome new regulations, address revolving-door ethics, enhance the economy, halt federal bloat, promote energy production, and create jobs. Without the Trump victory, the Paul Ryan agenda — radical tax reform and deregulation — that has been comatose for a decade would never have become viable. So, is the position of the conservative rejectionists something like the following: “I detest Trump because even his positive agendas are spoiled by his sponsorship?”

I think Dr. Hanson underestimates the reflexive rejection of all things Trump by the Washington Permanent Establishment and overestimates the professionalism of both the press and the federal civil service.

I thought that both Bush presidents were fine and good men and their agendas far preferable to the alternative. But was either in a political position to effect (or perhaps even willing to embrace) the sort of conservative change that the supposedly “not a conservative” Trump might well attempt? That irony too raises another metaphysical question: Does the Trump moment come despite or because of his take-no-prisoners rhetorical style?

As the situation continues to develop I am coming to the conclusion that Trump has the room to maneuver because of his brash manner. I thus find myself in the interesting position of deploring his boorishness while embracing his policies to date. I guess I shall have to lump boorishness with stupidity in this case, as his effectiveness is hard to dispute.

President Trump's Joint Session Speech
The Alternate Reality of the Political Right
  • Retired military

    This column and others like it can be boiled down to one sentence.
    The GOPe don’t like Trump since he doesn’t listen or kowtow to them.

  • yetanotherjohn

    Althouse had an interesting thought experiment.
    First, imagine Trump with policies you think absolutely right but with his current manner.
    Second, imagine Trump with his current policies but with impeccable presidential tone.
    Now what is it you object to, his manner or his policies. The thought experiment is aimed at the left, but is useful for the right.

    I would love to have the second Trump, but am happy enough to have the first Trump. The problem for the left is they like neither his manners nor his policies. As such, his manners become a handy club to beat him with. The problem for some on the right is their dislike of his manners blinds them to the good he is accomplishing.

    The “feet on the couch” scandal is an excellent example. Trump was doing something for the heads of the Historically Black Colleges and University asked him to do. They were meeting with Trump in the oval with smiles. The left doesn’t care a bit about the feet on the couch. But they care very deeply the idea that Trump might break free the slaves from the democratic vote plantation. To many on the right are blind to the potential Trump has for the nation and the party.

    • Retired military

      “The left doesn’t care a bit about the feet on the couch”
      Nor on the desk apparently.


      • yetanotherjohn

        Thats different because shut up

      • Vagabond661

        Or where they put their cigars.

    • Hank_M

      Excellent example, the feet-on-the-couch.

      If the left or the media (BIRM) actually cared about black amiericans, they’d applaud this move and encourage more. Instead they go out of their way to create a scandal and avoid the real story.

      • yetanotherjohn

        If they cared about black Americans or this country they would welcome the move. If they were half as politically savvy as they think they are, they would praise Trump to the skies for it, showing their opposition was not to Trump or those who elected him, but only to his policies when they were “wrong”. Doing so would provide them the camels nose to start steering him the way they want him to go.
        Fortunately for America, Trump is holding meetings like this that can provide the camels nose in turning the Black voters away from the democrats and because the left acts like this, it further alienates Trump from the left and the voters who elected Trump from the left. Further, I suspect there were a fair number of voters who voted libertarian or didn’t vote in protest who could be persuaded to vote for Trump in the next election if he continues to follow through on his campaign promises. It’s a long way to 2020, but Trump is on the right road to get re-elected (if he will want to by then). If he is re-elected, 2024 will favor the democrats if for no other reason than the 8 year itch which seems to be a staple of modern politics. The left is going to have to work hard to blow the opportunity on 2024, but so far they are putting in that hard work.

      • Lightninbug

        I thought Kellyanne looked rather fetching, comfortably casual in the midst of the hoopla.

  • Scalia

    Trump is turning out to be more conservative than the “conservatives” who told us how to vote for 20 years. So far, I’ll take the “fake” conservative over the “real” ones.

  • Hank_M

    The key takeaway from VDH’s article is Trumps appeal to what he calls the lost hinterland.
    The democrats and the gop-e had indeed written off the “rubes” who live there.
    Trump not only understood that segment of the electorate but he seems to actually care about them. He said so repeatedly and is governing based on that.

    The so-called elites have no intention of letting that stand. As such, it doesn’t matter how well he governs. He has to be destroyed and we have to fall in line.

  • Paul Hooson

    I felt that his speech to Congress was better than expected. But, it was also written by speechwriters, so simply reading words that sound appealing still requires that the words be honored. We didn’t see the usual “wild man” freshly escaped from a cage who sends out petty angry Tweets at 3am in the morning, but someone actually presidential tonight. That much was good.

    But, facts do fly in the face of the positive upbeat views about the economy. Gas prices are starting a slow upward increase, while J C Penney intends to close 130 or more stores. Sears and Kmart is intending to close 150 stores. Macy’s 68 stores. And, many more retailers are intending to close retail stores as well. 10’s of thousands of jobs will be disappearing in 2017. Mr. Trump appears powerless to stop these job losses and store closings, and whether he can actually find enough jobs even to replace these huge job losses is a big question.

    Mr. Trump claims that future pipeline projects will be achieved with U.S. made materials, which glossed over the fact that Canadian materials will build this current pipeline project, while I do know of any other pipeline projects planned for the future. So, why even volunteer such empty words. Another big project intended is “The Wall”, where once again a foreign contractor may reap the biggest portion of this project and not American contractors.

    Beyond tonight, the proof will be in whether there are actual results and not just an appealing speech.

    • jim_m

      Seriously? You would have wet yourself over Obama reading off of a teleprompter.

    • Jwb10001

      All presidents have speech writers, catch a clue will you.

  • cathymv

    I think that this is the reason that I like Trump so much. And as a NY’er, I understand him. Hes brash, forward, aggressive and he knows people and what people want. He has an ingrained sense about people and this has really connected with many Americans. While some are turned off by his brashness, many, like me, find it refreshing. Hes not perfect, polished and political. But he is our President.

  • cathymv

    This – also from VDH: : “In 1828, the wild and unruly Andrew Jackson was elected president because the rapidly expanding country had tired of the pretenses of an exhausted elite of tidewater and New England mediocrities.

    The hollow, tiny coastal establishment of the 1820s perpetuated the ancestry and background of the great but all-but-disappeared Founding Fathers such as George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and James Monroe. Yet otherwise, the Founders’ lesser successors had not earned the status they had assumed from their betters. The outsider Jackson won by exposing their pretenses.

    What got the brash Trump elected was a similar popular outrage that the self-described best and brightest of our time are has-beens, having enjoyed influence without real merit or visible achievement.” –Victor Davis Hanson

  • mikegiles

    I’ve long advocated the end of the Civil Service, and a return to the old “Spoils System”; where an incoming administration cleans house, and staffs the bureaucracy with their own supporters. Perhaps then our government will begin working, because they can no longer blame the permanent government, because there will be no permanent government.