by George Rasley, CHQ Editor
The New York Times recently published what it touted as a bombshell anonymous op-ed by a “senior” Trump administration official that trashed President Trump for being among other things “amoral” and showing “little affinity for ideals long espoused by conservatives: free minds, free markets and free people.”
The op-ed, which we have read and re-read several times, is all about Trump’s style, as opposed to the substance of his policy accomplishments.
Indeed, it reads like nothing so much as a #NeverTrump manifesto ghostwritten by a NeverTrumper, like Bill Kristol or Jonah Goldberg, rather than a senior White House or administration official with inside knowledge of Trump’s decision-making process and the alleged failures thereof.
It will surprise no one who voted for Donald Trump that he does not hew to the Republican establishment’s idea of “presidential” style – that’s one reason why we voted for him.
And Trump understands that better than the #NeverTrump gang in and out of the halls of government.
One of the more compelling (and hilarious) moments of Trump’s recent speech and rally in West Virginia was when he did an imitation of a “presidential” establishment Republican robotically walking back and forth behind the lectern and reciting the lines of a speech before busting the whole thing by calling it boring and laughingly saying nobody would pay any attention to such a candidate.
And President Trump was right – which is why Mitt Romney and John McCain both lost to Barack Obama, the worst president since James Buchanan.
What the cowardly author of the Times op-ed and the rest of the establishment and political class don’t seem to grasp is another reason we voted for Trump; to use him as a wrecking ball against the edifice of the deep state that they so carefully erected over the past half-century.
It should escape no one that electing Trump was a rejection of the establishment of Democrats and Republicans.
And the major error we see in the Trump administration is not that Donald Trump isn’t doing what we elected to do; demolish the deep state, secure our borders and culture, free Americans from the overbearing regulatory state erected by Republicans and Democrats and put the quality of life of America’s working families above the globalist aspirations of the Wall Street – Washington – Silicon Valley Axis – it is that during the transition the President failed to grasp one of Washington’s oldest rules.
About a year ago President Trump’s former senior strategist Steve Bannon sat down with Charlie Rose on CBS News’ “60 Minutes.”
There was one revelatory moment in the interview that explained much, if not most, of President Trump’s difficulties implementing the outsider agenda that he ran on and that his 63 million voters expected would be his governing philosophy.
What Bannon said was, “48 hours after we won” a fundamental decision was made to embrace the establishment because Trump needed to “govern.”
What Bannon, then-President-elect Trump, daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner, who were also in on the decision, apparently didn’t grasp was the most fundamental principle of government:
Personnel is policy.
After running a campaign against the establishment, and even as Bannon said later in the interview, holding the establishment figures of the Bush sliver of the Republican Party in complete contempt, how did anyone with a modicum of political or business sense think that the defeated establishment would join Trump and try to help him implement his agenda?
And that’s the key. It is incomprehensible that a group as collectively intelligent as the Trump campaign team could not comprehend that there is a big difference between “governing,” as in getting the parks open and the Social Security checks out, and “governing” in the sense of implementing the agenda you ran your campaign on.
And it is governing from your agenda that makes a great President, like Ronald Reagan, versus one who merely got the parks open on time.
We are reminded that a few weeks after Steve Bannon, President-elect Trump, Jared, Ivanka and the rest of the campaign team had decided to “embrace the establishment” we posted the following on CHQ:
In the days after the election of Donald Trump, and the decisive defeat of Hillary Clinton and her Far-Left anti-constitutional agenda, we received a flurry of emails to the effect of “Thank goodness, America is saved.”
We wish we could share that sentiment, but to quote Winston Churchill, “Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”
Defeating Hillary Clinton did not defeat the plans of the Progressive Left and their fellow travelers in the Wall Street – Washington – Silicon Valley Axis; it merely defeated one vehicle by which they aimed to accomplish their goals.
The election of Donald Trump is a beginning, not the end, of a great struggle to reestablish constitutional government in America and to defeat the anti-constitutional forces of Progressivism, that for the past 29 years have run largely unchecked through the government and the major cultural, religious and academic institutions of this country.
Electing Donald Trump gives limited government constitutional conservatives the opportunity, not the guarantee, that we can roll back the damage Progressivism has done to our culture and national fiber.
The President, despite the opposition from Capitol Hill and from Deep State operatives within his administration, has made remarkable progress in implementing his agenda.
The problem is, as the anonymous op-ed in The New York Times demonstrates, he outsourced the initial staffing of his team to Reince Priebus, John Boehner acolyte Johnny DeStefano, H.R. McMaster, Rex Tillerson and others who did not and do not share his agenda.
And because of that, people who do not share his agenda – indeed many that are dead set against it – continue to be brought into the administration.
One obvious and immediate example will suffice to identify the problem: Leah Bray has been named the head of Global Engagement at State–an extremely important and sensitive position which oversees the Voice of America and all the broadcasting worldwide. She was brought into government by the Obama White House and is an acolyte of Obama’s National Security Advisor Susan Rice, and is a #NeverTrumper, yet here she is occupying a key position in the Trump State Department.
We hope the publication of the anonymous op-ed in The New York Times galvanizes the President to cull out those establishment Republican hacks, Democrats and Deep State operatives who have been slow walking his policies, but until he puts someone who shares his agenda in charge of White House Personnel that is unlikely to happen.
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George Rasley is editor of Richard Viguerie’s ConservativeHQ.com and is a veteran of over 300 political campaigns. A member of American MENSA, he served on the staff of Vice President Dan Quayle, as Director of Policy and Communication for Congressman Adam Putnam (FL-12) then Vice Chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee’s Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs, and as spokesman for Rep. Mac Thornberry now-Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee.