07 Dec 2016

So Far, So Good

trumpbeforeacceptance
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. That’s not healthy.

(2) Kept Hillary out of the White House. She’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 Administration’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 let’s look at what’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 — except for the voters. But it’s a promise kept, and one that makes American working-class folks feel like, finally, somebody cares. And it’s rich to see people who didn’t bat an eye at Solyndra going ballistic about $7 million over 10 years.

(5) Crushing the media’s sense of self-importance: They thought they were going to hand this election to Hillary. Now they’re realizing just how few people like or trust them, while Trump bypasses them using Twitter and YouTube. As I’ve said before, in the post-World War II era, the press has enjoyed certain institutional privileges based on two assumptions: (1) That it’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. It’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 can’t.

(6) China. Obama’s foreign policy has been disastrous. Trump has served notice to China that we’re not abandoning our allies on the Pacific Rim. That will be noticed elsewhere, too.

(7) The transition. It was supposed to be “chaos,” but it’s been smooth and obviously well-planned. This bodes well and, among those willing to pay attention beyond SNL sketches, is changing minds.

Don’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, he’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.

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8 Feedbacks on "So Far, So Good"

GoneWithTheWind

IMHO Trump will do some good things as president. And I mean good things that Hillary would never even consider in her liberal mind. But I don’t think Trump can fix our broken federal government; it is too big, spends too much and is a conglomeration of little fiefdoms that do far too much in secret at the behest of foreign/UN interests. What I’m saying is it won’t be all good news, at best it will merely be incredibly better then it would have been under Hillary.

The last three presidents have run up our national debt and debased our money such that I see a new great depression as inevitable. Worse, unlike the 20’s and 30’s our country is not full of greatest generation people; self sufficient people and a real economic collapse will be much worse especially because our population today is 3 1/2 times greater than it was in 1929.

My hope is that Trump puts good constitutional judges on the federal courts, decreases taxes, especially business taxes, actively works to get the “anti-American” activists out of our federal government, and rehabilitates/rebuilds our military. If he only did these things in his four years I would consider him a huge success.



BrianE

Did Reagan disappoint you? Did Bush the Elder disappoint you? Did Bush the Junior disappoint you?

Yep, Trump is going to disappoint.

I agree with GoneWithTheWind, if he succeeds with three policy objectives, it will be a success. If he manages four, it will be a near miracle.

Provide the foundation for a new path for health care, away from the path to complete government control.

Create a new environment where border enforcement is considered a civic duty, not a fascist enterprise.

Provide the building blocks for a truly growing, vibrant, sustainable economy.

The bonus round would be reforming entitlements, creating a trajectory whereby the federal government won’t drag the country into insolvency when the cost of money returns to some historical norm (although insolvency is likely the default position).



Old Salt

I don’t care for #4 either and think it’s a bad habit to get into.

Packaging it as a bridge to the forthcoming tax and regulation reform would make it a bit more acceptable. I get the impression a veto or legislative fight might be necessary to keep Paul Ryan’s idiot ideas from making the tax code worse.



John

“If Trump had announced that he would make Mattis Secretary of Defense before the election, I’d have voted for him.”

Is that all that it would have taken? I think you are being somewhat contrite here, and I don’t think you would have voted for him.

“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.”

Thank you for that. Now I wish you had said it at the top of a post, and also added “and all of you pro-Trump guys were right.”



JDZ

I really like Mattis, and I did vote for McCain only because Palin was on the ticket. I’m not inclined to compliment Trump supporters too much, I’m afraid. It’s not that they perceived something the rest of us didn’t. Trump supporters were just willing to say: “F*ck it! Trump!”



John

I voted for Trump for a lot of reasons, but none were “f*ck it! One was f*ck Hillary!



Seattle Sam

It’s rather myopic (not to mention early) to critique each action that President Trump takes. Ronald Reagan was a great president (despite several bad moves) because he set a tone that denied the essential liberal proposition that government is good, more government is even better and people should not be allowed to make their own decisions. He also stared down the Soviet Union.

If Trump can do something similar he would also be a great president. I suspect/hope that Trump’s theme will be around reaffirming American exceptionalism and making ordinary Americans (as opposed to Michelle Obama) proud of their country. He may also make progress on draining the swamp a bit. Wouldn’t it be great if he actually abolished a cabinet department or some federal agencies? It would be as important symbolically as when Reagan fired the air traffic controllers. If he can set the media back on its heels, all the better.

I didn’t vote for Trump either, but we now have in front of us the second great opportunity in my lifetime to turn this country around. I guess I’m willing to put up with some bad economic decisions (like coercing corporate decisions or supporting minimum wage laws) if he can do that.



720 Reach, LLC

Having a gay, bottom mulatto as Prez was never a good idea. PIAPS as rug muncher in chief was equally as bad. Things may return to normal in a couple.



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