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Transition to Trump: History will mark today as the day America became great again

The transition is over – or it will be at noon EST today when Mike Pence and Donald Trump take turns placing their left hand on a Bible and then recite their oaths of office.

Everyone knows it will be a historic moment, one we’ll always remember. Every time a new president assumes the office it is a momentous occasion and signifies a continuous peaceful transfer of power going back to the Inauguration daytime of the Founding Fathers, which is not exactly a universal thing in the world.

To say that conservatives and Republicans will be happy today is an understatement. To claim they’ll be proud is another thing. The 2016 campaign was a whirlwind journey that included more twists and turns than a rollercoaster ride. It was ugly at times and euphoric at others but when all is said and done most conservatives will admit the result turned out to be what was best for the GOP and the country.

Donald Trump really was the best candidate in 2016. The people chose right. Even those of us who supported other candidates in the primaries recognize it now.

Polls indicate Trump will enter office as the least popular new president since…perhaps ever. It doesn’t matter. Today, we will stop calling Trump the president-elect and begin saluting him as President Trump. He’ll hear “Hail to the Chief” for the first time in his honor.

Regardless of the polls, he’ll have plenty of political capital to spend, too.

David M. Drucker of the Washington Examiner writes, “Trump's approval rating is underwater in nine public opinion polls conducted since Jan. 1, averaging 41 percent in the RealClearPolitics.com average — horrible numbers for a president-elect. But Trump's position with congressional Republicans couldn't be better.

“Whether out of fear of reprisal, excitement about what they can accomplish together legislatively, or awe over how he won the presidency, Republicans are prepared to give Trump more room to maneuver than a politician in his position might expect.”

It’s true. I can scarcely remember a time when Republicans and conservatives have been so united and enthusiastic about an upcoming governing period. George W. Bush’s narrow win in 2000 didn’t even come close to Trump’s as he was escorted across the finish line by a controversial Supreme Court decision and many in the country were still calling into question the legitimacy of his win all the way up to Inauguration Day.

Trump is deemed legitimate by all but the angriest of Democrats. Who cares what they think.

Bush was also a “typical” establishment Republican with an establishment vice president and a cabinet full of party blue bloods. Unlike Bush, Trump won without the public support of many congressional Republicans, so conservatives got a real sense that he’ll purposely sidestep the wishy-washy indecisiveness of the GOP in recent times.

For Trump’s victory, the feeling is much more Reagan-esque. People who supported Trump appreciate not only his unflinching grit in winning the election, they also approve of the way he’s handled the transition. I personally believe the best thing Trump did after accepting Hillary Clinton’s concession was appointing Mike Pence to lead the transition.

By having Pence in charge conservatives knew they were in control for the first time since…maybe ever. Even Reagan’s cabinet was full of party establishmentarians.

Add the fact that the transition was largely handled away from Washington DC and people immediately began seeing Trump for what he is – an outsider. The stars and the pols all had to go to Trump if they wanted to meet with him or interview for a job. And those “thank you” rallies with Christmas trees that Trump orchestrated last month were pure brilliance.

There was no more symbolic way to signify the end of political correctness than to stand in front of a podium with “Merry Christmas” on it.

There’s also the sense that finally something is going to get done on the limited government agenda. “Tax reform, repealing Obamacare, the ability to appoint conservatives to the Supreme Court — none of these would be remotely possible with Democrat Hillary Clinton in the Oval Office, and Republicans want to capitalize,” Drucker added.

Throughout the campaign Trump insisted he would get things done that others couldn’t because it’s what he’s been doing his whole life. That life hasn’t been without controversy and he won’t soon be considered for sainthood, but when it comes down to doing what it takes to accomplish something, Trump gets it done.

Who knows whether the “wall” will ever be built; but we know the immigration laws will be enforced. Likewise with the Republicans in charge, businesses understand tax reform will be in the works. And social conservatives are happy that the next Supreme Court nominee will come from Trump’s list that was compiled with the help of the Federalist Society and the Heritage Foundation.

No one can predict right now how much of Trump’s plan to “Make America Great Again” will actually be implemented. But there’s one thing everyone can be 100% sure about – Trump and his conservative cabinet members will give everything they have in trying. And for that reason, today is going to be a very happy day.

As Trump takes office, plans are already in place to slice the size of the federal government

It’s safe to say, one of the concerns many conservatives had with Donald Trump in the Republican primaries was the fact he did not appear to be grounded in limited government philosophy. If anything, Trump looked to be the same type of big government Republican who would ignore the Constitution in order to control the American economy according to his own business whims.

Some saw Trump as being in the mold of Mitt Romney – a “manager” rather than someone who was committed to cutting government and balancing the budget

If the initial signs are any indication, those fears were overblown.

Alexander Bolton of The Hill reports, “Staffers for the Trump transition team have been meeting with career staff at the White House ahead of Friday’s presidential inauguration to outline their plans for shrinking the federal bureaucracy, The Hill has learned...

“The departments of Commerce and Energy would see major reductions in funding, with programs under their jurisdiction either being eliminated or transferred to other agencies. The departments of Transportation, Justice and State would see significant cuts and program eliminations.

“The Corporation for Public Broadcasting would be privatized, while the National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities would be eliminated entirely.”

The Trump team proposes to eliminate $10.5 trillion in spending over ten years, an astronomical figure that is simply hard to fathom when pondering the modern federal leviathan. The plan is apparently similar to one proposed by the Heritage Foundation and also one that was put forward by the House Republican Study Committee.

If Democrats hooted over Trump’s election, just wait until they grasp the spending cuts. Brace yourself for the public relations onslaught. I can just hear it now: granny is about to get thrown off the cliff; food will be yanked out of the mouths of children and people will die in droves from lack of federal distribution and control over healthcare.

The hysteria and panic will be tangible when Democrats and the media will no longer be needed to help shovel money towards special interests. They’re already complaining.

The long-term implications of the plan are evident regardless of whether they can actually be implemented in their current conception. By suggesting massive spending reduction Trump is signaling that the days of baseline budgeting could soon be in the past and federal agencies will be forced to justify the money they receive and spend.

I have a hard time believing we have now entered a period where the concept of limited government has been adopted by the public at large, but at least the notion of reducing the size of government is part of the conversation. Perhaps not since Reagan has serious emphasis been placed on cutting spending.

Recently it’s all been about reducing the rate of growth of government, not actually cutting it. Even the Republican congressional leadership since the Gingrich revolution in the mid-nineties has basically abandoned the cause of making government smaller. Republicans ran on making government work better and to improve its priorities instead of promising more liberty and fiscal temperance.

Thankfully, smaller government appears to be back in vogue, complete with the backing of the president.

As for the people who will be charged with putting government on a fiscal diet, the administration’s cabinet secretaries, they’re enduring a slander campaign from Democrats who appear to be doing everything in their power to ruin the reputations of the nominees Trump chose.

Republicans aren’t bowing to the pressure.

Seung Min Kim, Burgess Everett and Elana Schor of Politico report, “Donald Trump’s Cabinet picks have been battered by revelations of questionable stock trades and potentially undocumented employees. They’ve undergone rocky confirmation hearings and faced criticism from Democrats that they’re unfit to lead a major federal agency.

“Consider Republicans unmoved.

“From the top tiers of GOP leadership to rank-and-file committee members, Republicans are fanning out en masse to defend Trump's Cabinet selections.”

And why shouldn’t they be defended? Every single nominee was chosen for a reason – their ability to do the job – not for political considerations.

From the confirmation hearings I’ve seen, including Thursday’s for Treasury Secretary designee Steven Mnuchin, most of the Democrats’ questions have had little to do with competence for the job and are instead all about trying to dent the person’s character.

Ethics are important, of course, but the mere appearance of impropriety as pointed out by some skeptical career politician Democrat hasn’t been enough to disqualify any of Trump’s nominees thus far.

America needs people at the highest level of government who are strong and willing to make tough choices on budgeting and priorities. The Democrats’ questioning has been shameful and they should be held to account in the future.

Trump won’t let the Democrats’ stonewalling of cabinet nominees stop him from making change right away

In assessing the reasons why Democrats are working so hard to delay the confirmation of Donald Trump’s cabinet nominees, it seems clear that one, they’re trying to show their supporters that they’re still relevant and can put up a fight; and two, they’re attempting to put the brakes on the pace of change Trump will be able to implement starting on Monday.

While Democrats may be succeeding in endeavor number one, they’ll definitely fail on the second mission.

Byron York of the Washington Examiner writes, “Vice President-elect Mike Pence announced Thursday that there are 536 Trump ‘beachhead team members’ ready to head into the departments and agencies of the federal government at noon Friday. (They will succeed the so-called ‘landing teams’ who worked with those departments during the transition period.) The beachhead teams are basically short-term, Trump-chosen staff. ‘Those individuals are able to work in the various departments as temporary officials for 120 days,’ incoming White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Friday. ‘Until the secretary or administrator or director is confirmed, they are unable to make a permanent appointment.’

“The importance of the beachhead teams, Spicer stressed, is not to enact the Trump agenda but to ensure the government continues to function without a hitch. ‘Continuity of government is if there's an attack or some kind of weather incident that occurs where each of our departments have to be called into action to support the American people,’ Spicer explained. ‘We're ready to go. Make no mistake, we're ready to go on Day One.’”

“Day One” gets a lot of emphasis, similar to the “first 100 days.” So many have feigned concern over the potential readiness of Trump’s administration to run the government now that Obama has been constitutionally returned to his previous status as moocher in chief; that worry is clearly misplaced.

Anyone who lives in the Washington DC area knows many of their neighbors will still have jobs regardless of who occupies the White House. Perhaps that’s part of the problem, since civil servants don’t need to be concerned about job security like private sector employees do.

York points out that there are 4000 political positions in government. Those, apparently, will be addressed by the Trump team in rapid fashion…starting next week.

Trump will be able to accomplish plenty in the interim period just by using his pen to cancel Obama’s unconstitutional executive orders and maybe write a few of his own. The wheels will still turn. The national parks and government buildings will be open as usual on Monday. The bureaucracy will report to work.

The sun will rise. Climate change will not kill the planet in the interim.

And the Democrats will continue on their crusade to try and get at least one “scalp” of a Trump nominee. They won’t succeed.

And by putting up such a stink over Trump’s cabinet appointments Democrats are burning political capital at an alarming rate, something that will likely hurt them when the real fight begins – the confirmation of the next Supreme Court Justice.

But that’s a conversation for another time – probably soon at that. The big news is Donald Trump becomes president today. It’s a good day for America.

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