via Vanderleun: Trump looking serious, just prior to his acceptance speech on election night.
Glenn Reynolds looks at Trump’s performance so far, very early, and contends that there is much for conservatives to like, and that even (#4) the part conservatives will not like was really smart politics.
(1) Killed off dynastic politics, at least for now. If Hillary had won, 4 of the last 5 presidents would have come from two families. Thatâ€™s not healthy.
(2) Kept Hillary out of the White House. Sheâ€™s amazingly crooked even by DC standards, and amazingly inept even by DC standards as well. Debacles galore have been prevented by keeping her out. Plus, a Clinton presidency would have allowed the completion of the Obama Administrationâ€™s weaponization of the federal government and possibly ensured one-party rule for decades. And at the very least, it would have allowed the sorry gang that Obama and Clinton brought in (go read the Podesta emails!) to bore in for four to eight more years.
Those two reasons were reason enough to back Trump. But now letâ€™s look at whatâ€™s happened since election night:
(3) The Mattis appointment. In one swoop, a big start toward fixing the military that Obama turned from warriors into social-justice warriors. Plus, a big blow to PC culture in general.
(4) The Carrier deal. Sure, everybody hates it â€” except for the voters. But itâ€™s a promise kept, and one that makes American working-class folks feel like, finally, somebody cares. And itâ€™s rich to see people who didnâ€™t bat an eye at Solyndra going ballistic about $7 million over 10 years.
(5) Crushing the mediaâ€™s sense of self-importance: They thought they were going to hand this election to Hillary. Now theyâ€™re realizing just how few people like or trust them, while Trump bypasses them using Twitter and YouTube. As Iâ€™ve said before, in the post-World War II era, the press has enjoyed certain institutional privileges based on two assumptions: (1) That itâ€™s very powerful; and (2) That it will exercise that power responsibly, for the most part. Both assumptions have been proven false in this election cycle. Like many of the postwar institutional accommodations, this one will be renegotiated under Trump. Itâ€™s past time. After getting spanked in 2004 over RatherGate, the press realized with Katrina that if they all converged on the same lies they could still move the needle. Now they canâ€™t.
(6) China. Obamaâ€™s foreign policy has been disastrous. Trump has served notice to China that weâ€™re not abandoning our allies on the Pacific Rim. That will be noticed elsewhere, too.
(7) The transition. It was supposed to be â€œchaos,â€ but itâ€™s been smooth and obviously well-planned. This bodes well and, among those willing to pay attention beyond SNL sketches, is changing minds.
Donâ€™t get cocky, because he could still blow it and the press will be looking for anything they can use to destroy him, as they do with every Republican president. But for a guy less than 4 weeks out from the election, heâ€™s doing awfully well.
Glenn’s right. Trump’s cabinet picks have been praiseworthy, in one case: outstanding. If Trump had announced that he would make Mattis Secretary of Defense before the election, I’d have voted for him.
Trump has displayed magnanimity. He told the press he would not prosecute Hillary, and he has been very seriously considering Mitt Romney for Secretary of State, despite Romney’s strong attack during the campaign and withholding of support.
Trump displayed good judgement, too, in dumping Chris Christie, who reeks of Tri-State Area sleaze.
Trump’s appointments, his organization of the transition team, and the Taiwan phone call as message to China have all demonstrated intelligence and good organizational and strategic ability.
Donald Trump has been “a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.” There was no evidence in his entire previous life of any party or ideological commitment whatsoever. Trump donated generously to every major liberal democrat, and golfed and hobnobbed with them happily. In the course of his campaign, he took positions, changed his mind, and contradicted himself. It seemed impossible to rely on Trump’s promises of conservative judicial appointments, tax cuts, and other conservative policies. But he has been elected, and the conservative appointments and policy promises are still coming.
I still fear that Trump is going to disappoint badly before all this is over, but so far so good. He is demonstrating a lot more seriousness and a better character than I ever would have expected, and I find myself obliged to admit that I’ve been wrong: Trump has got real political strategic ability and he does know what he is doing.