Share This Article with a Friend!

Transition to Trump: Is Donald Trump following in the footsteps of Ronald Reagan?

The Donald Trump transition team made more moves over the weekend, naming his pick for Interior Secretary and throwing out strong hints about who will run the State Department starting in a little over a month.

Devin Henry of The Hill reports, “President-elect Donald Trump is expected to name Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) to lead the Interior Department, a source close to the transition team told The Hill Friday.

Trump and Reagan“Trump will tap McMorris-Rodgers, a five-term Republican who represents eastern Washington and is the chair of the House GOP Conference, to lead the department. The New York Times first reported the news.”

Trump’s selection of McMorris-Rodgers is clearly a nod to the party establishment as she’s part of Paul Ryan’s House leadership team and is not exactly known as a bomb-throwing limited government conservative. Putting her in charge of the nation’s federal lands and national parks may seem like a harmless move on the surface, but there’s still a lot of damage that can be done from such a lofty position if the wrong person is making the decisions.

According to The Hill story, McMorris-Rodgers is very pro-energy growth at least. “She has voted in favor of expanding fossil fuel development on public lands and in federal areas off-shore. She opposes efforts to change the royalty rates on federal coal mining, something pushed hard by Obama’s Interior Department, and voted for a GOP budget that would allow the sale of public lands to mining companies.”

Assuming this is true, I doubt McMorris-Rodgers will engender much opposition from conservative groups as the nominee for Interior Secretary. Private ownership of property is incredibly important and was a major priority of the Founding Fathers. We can only hope the new leader of the effort to secure them feels the same way.

For the all-important Secretary of State position, reports indicate Trump will choose Exxon-Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson, with John Bolton running the day-to-day operation from Foggy Bottom.

With the formal announcements of Interior and State likely coming up this week, most of the major personnel would seem to be in place for the new Trump administration. It’s safe to say, conservatives are generally enthused by Trump’s selections.

And there are a lot of reasons why we should be, too. Andrew C. McCarthy of National Review wrote, “Well, if there had been a second Clinton administration, do you think we’d have gotten (Scott) Pruitt (at EPA)? How about Jeff Sessions at Justice, or General James Mattis at Defense? Or Trump’s promised upgrade in immigration enforcement to be carried out by General John Kelly, the clear-eyed So-Com commander who has warned about radical Islam’s inroads in Central and South America (and a Gold Star dad whose son laid down his life in Afghanistan, fighting our jihadist enemies)?

“Do you figure Hillary would have tapped teachers-union scourge Betsy DeVos for the Education Department? Or a staunch Obamacare critic such as congressman (and doctor) Tom Price to run HHS?”

The answer is a resounding no. The highly respected McCarthy goes on to argue that Trump should not overplay his hand in trying to substitute populism for principled limited government conservatism, since he believes Trump’s victory was largely due to the country’s opposition to awful Hillary Clinton, not his own slate of policies.

But McCarthy’s main purpose is to express relief over Trump’s moves as president-elect thus far. While it’s true Trump has done some odd things in transition (McCarthy mentions the president-elect’s meetings with Al Gore and with the editorial board of the New York Times as examples), his personnel actions have been solid and envisage an administration that will govern from a conservative point-of-view.

I personally think it’s because Trump himself realized somewhere along the line that many of the conservative policies have basically been ignored since 1989 are the key to “making America great again.” It’s not that Trump himself has become a convert to the cause of the Constitution and it’s probably not even solely due to the great work of Mike Pence.

It’s because freedom and individual liberty work. And so does federalism.

Many conservatives argued all along that Trump would not be the “disaster” that was so gloomily predicted by the #NeverTrump contingent. There were plenty of signs during the primaries and presidential campaign indicating Trump would stay close enough to traditional Republican thought so as to not make people regret supporting him.

McCarthy’s excellent piece expresses these realizations (though McCarthy was not #NeverTrump, he was highly critical of the president-elect during the lead-up to the election). Though it’s perhaps a tad early to declare Trump will be successful on the level of Ronald Reagan, there are a lot of things to like about his early engagements.

Steve Moore wrote at Fox News, “Conservatives shouldn't fret too much over Trump's deviations from Reagan policies. So far the Cabinet appointments and the policy priorities of his incoming administration have been nearly impeccable.

“He's also showing a willingness to reach out to the other side to score policy victories and avoid paralysis. That is right out of the Reagan playbook. The Gipper was a master political strategist, perhaps even more than he was an orthodox conservative. That's how you rack up victories that are durable, a lesson Barack Obama never learned.”

Conservatives should not forget that our policies will not succeed without popular support. For a long time many of us didn’t believe Donald Trump was the right one to articulate our message and then carry it out if elected.

But he’s proving to be at least as good as advertised, if not better. And America’s got a much improved outlook because of it.

Trump’s cabinet primed to give Obamacare the trashing it deserves

One of the reasons why America’s future looks a lot brighter than its recent past is the prospect of finally getting rid of perhaps the most damaging policy to come to fruition under the present regime: Obamacare.

Just peruse the list of potential Trump cabinet members (those who have been officially announced) and you see a host of people itching to ditch the law and replace it with something free market friendly and driven by consumer centered reforms.

Paige Winnfield Cunningham of the Washington Examiner reports, “Incoming Labor Secretary Andy Puzder has twice testified before Congress against the law. Environmental Protection Agency administrator nominee Scott Pruitt has sued the federal government over it. Incoming Attorney General Jeff Sessions has backed efforts to defund it. Future Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has publicly criticized it. And Rep. Tom Price, who was nominated to lead the Department of Health and Human Services, has proposed an alternative to it.

“Most of the jurisdiction over the Affordable Care Act resides at the Department of Health and Human Services, and that agency will be led by Price, assuming his nomination is confirmed by the Senate, a doctor and one of the healthcare law's harshest critics who has proposed his own health reform alternative several times.

“But a number of other agencies, including Treasury, the Department of Labor and the Department of Justice, have sway over how the healthcare law's provisions are carried out and how it is defended in court.”

It’s true; Trump’s proposed cabinet is practically a who’s who list of Obamacare opponents including several that have been among the law’s most vocal opponents.

It makes me chuckle whenever Obama talks about the amount of his legacy that’s virtually irreversible. Though that’s certainly true in the federal courts, to some extent, a law such as Obamacare would be extremely easy to trash just by repealing it and refusing to fund the parts that remain.

Similarly, much of Obama’s politically correct agenda can and will be halted by Trump’s cabinet secretaries exercising their authority to enforce or interpret federal law. As an example, the Obama Justice Department forced (to some extent) North Carolina public schools to accept gender neutral bathrooms by threatening to withhold federal funds.

That won’t happen with Trump’s people. What the Democrats can’t achieve through the ballot box and the legislative process won’t be compelled by the overreaching executive branch.

It’s safe to say one of the many “feel good” moments conservatives experienced when Donald Trump was declared the winner of the election was the realization Obamacare would be relegated to the dust heap of history.

For America’s benefit, the change couldn’t take place fast enough.

Democrats’ newfound interest in investigating the Russians has an awful funny odor

The Russians are coming! The Russians are coming!

Judging from the intensity of the paranoia emanating from the Democrats these days, you’d almost think we’ve all been transported back in time to the plains of Lexington and Concord (in April of 1775) waiting for the redcoats to round the corner.

Only instead of combating the British forces of King George III, the enemy would be Vladimir Putin leading his cyber forces to steal our elections. And it isn’t William Dawes and Paul Revere sounding the alarm to warn us, it’s lame-duck President Obama and Senate Minority Leader-to-be Chuck Schumer giving in to hysteria.

Gabby Morrongiello of the Washington Examiner reports, “Less than 24 hours after the White House announced that it had requested a ‘full review’ of Russia's cyber activity in the 2008 and 2016 elections from the intelligence community, Schumer suggested a separate congressional investigation should occur.

“’Reports of the CIA's conclusion that Russia actively sought to help elect Donald Trump are simultaneously stunning and not surprising, given Russia's disdain for democracy and admiration for autocracy,’ the New York Democrat said in a statement.”

Schumer went on to say he’ll demand hearings to get to the bottom of the matter. If that’s the case, then perhaps the Democrats feel a diversion will be needed to distract the public’s attention away from the Trump Justice Department’s investigations into the Democrats’ dirty laundry left behind from eight years of corruption, malfeasance and incompetence.

For what it’s worth, some Republicans are jumping on the kick-Russia bandwagon as well, including Sen. Lindsey Graham, who bragged he was “going after Russia in every way you can go after Russia.” Maybe Graham’s mad because the Russians didn’t fix the Republican primaries for him when he ran for president…but then again, he bailed out before any votes were even cast.

Graham’s pal John McCain is also in on it, apparently. McCain probably thinks it was the Russians that drove Obama to victory in 2008, too.

And now that everyone’s celebrating Harry Reid’s exit from the Senate we get an early sign Schumer will be just as partisan and likely as unreasonable as the intractable former Nevada senator. Don’t expect much help in making America great again from the Democrats.

Of course ever since Wikileaks began releasing emails hacked from the Democrat National Committee last summer Democrats have sought to deflect attention away from the real issues in order to pin blame on an invisible enemy. When all is said and done, it could very well be that Russian hackers are responsible for the security breaches…but as far as the content of the leaked information, who’s really to blame, Putin or the Democrats themselves?

And to claim the Russians swung the election in Trump’s favor on purpose?

Heck, even the gang at #NeverTrump hotbed RedState is questioning the Democrats’ motives. Jennifer Van Laar wrote on Friday, “Clearly, any possible intrusion into such high-level political organizations by foreign governments (or groups paid by foreign governments) is a legitimate national security concern and should be investigated. And the Senate should absolutely be aware of cybersecurity threats and investigate possible incursions into military and intelligence computer systems.

“But it’s irresponsible of the administration to suggest that a foreign government could have changed the outcome of the election, especially when so many on the left are still having difficulty accepting its results.”

Van Laar’s post contains quotes from experts prior to the election stating there’s no way the result could be tipped by outsiders. But that was before Donald Trump won of course.

This latest attempt to accuse the Russians of trying to influence the elections is nothing other than a thinly veiled ploy to delegitimize Donald Trump’s history-changing victory last month. Whereas non-citizen voter fraud is a very real concern in many states, this Russian cyber scare sounds more like a liberal fantasy intended to deprive Trump’s very successful transition and appointments of the praise they deserve.

There should be more than enough chance next year to delve into the very real crimes perpetrated by the Clintons and covered up by the Obama administration. It isn’t time to start throwing around blame based upon the “seriousness of the charge” as opposed to the evidence.

Something just doesn’t smell right here.

Share this