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Assault on America, Day 103: Shortage of DC true believers threatens Trump’s MAGA mission

Trump and Republicans
True believers. Every successful operation needs ‘em and they’re surprisingly easy to spot. They’re the tip of the proverbial sword, the die-hards who’d choose going down with the ship fighting rather than accept an enemy’s guarantee of a lifeboat seat for transport to a prison barge.

Despite his critics’ shrieks to the contrary, Donald Trump is a true believer. Through his unconventional governing style and uncommonly confrontational demeanor it’s clear the president wholeheartedly believes in sealing the southern border and safeguarding American citizens’ jobs and personal security at the same time.

Last week’s resignation of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen generated a storm of criticism from the boo bird chorus of Trump’s Democrat and #NeverTrump disparagers, all accusing him of purging from his administration anyone who doesn’t kowtow to his every whim. Some asserted once again that the personnel change was characteristic of chaos in Trump’s White House world. Is this a fair observation?

Dedicated #NeverTrumper Jonah Goldberg wrote at National Review, “It’s not exactly blindingly novel to point out that the president’s criteria for competence are unconventional. To be sure, he likes good numbers he can tout at rallies and in interviews — jobs created, stock-market highs, drugs seized, immigrants apprehended, etc. Those are fairly routine benchmarks. With a rising number of migrants inundating the border (and no new border wall to be seen), Nielsen failed to provide much on this count.

“But her political predicament was larger than that. Trump also demands — and rewards — loyalty, particularly in the form of effusive praise on cable news. Nielsen tried on that score, but she was never particularly convincing, often sounding as if she were reading from a script she didn’t like…

“Trump loves controversy but struggles with confrontation. (That’s why he so often fires people over Twitter from a distance.) From his lifelong admiration for Roy Cohn, the bare-knuckled brawler who served as his mentor, to his hiring of legal and political brutes like Michael Cohen and Corey Lewandowski, Trump enjoys it when others play the heavy for him so he can claim to be the nice guy.”

From a distance Goldberg’s observation appears to be true. But anyone who imagines Donald Trump shrinks from staring across a table and speaking his mind hasn’t studied the man for the past four years (since he entered the political universe). If anything, it looks like Trump relishes the natural tension his underlings experience in his presence, constantly wondering whether this might be the day it’s their turn to feel the sting of a termination lash and a snarky tweet.

Goldberg dismisses Trump’s provocative style as a “reality TV” ploy to put on a good show for the cameras. But to those paying attention, it’s obvious Trump just wants true believers, not sycophants sucking-up to him in front of the media spotlight. To dismiss Trump’s motives the way Goldberg’s done is to perpetuate the media’s false notion that he’s a simpleton empty-suit glory hog who sets policy based on what he envisions generates the highest ratings. The National Review writer’s cynical line of thought isn’t much different than those who pretend Trump shut down the government because he didn’t like what Fox News personalities said about him.

It’s nonsense. As a former Trump skeptic, it’s evident Trump does, one, have an enormous ego to satisfy; two, holds resolute views on what he sees as America’s major unsolved problems (immigration, healthcare, unnecessary wars, etc.), and three, cares a lot about “doing” as opposed to sitting around conference rooms taking excuse after excuse from people who aren’t performing in their jobs.

It may sound harsh, but Trump has zero tolerance for slackers and incompetents. If you work for his team and you can’t accept objective and quantifiable results are a huge part of the job, don’t take on the responsibility to begin with. Is Trump a high-pressure boss? Absolutely. But where in the free world is it satisfactory to carry employees who don’t live up to potentials?

Maybe with government jobs or teacher-union protected school administrators. Everywhere else folks toil under the gathering storm of competition and demands. A mother loves her kid no matter how badly he or she screws up but the same doesn’t hold in the real world. Trump ain’t no one’s mom, either… and only liberals and #NeverTrumpers like Goldberg have an issue with it.

Should Trump have kept Nielsen onboard when he found she wasn’t doing what he, the duly elected president, wanted her to do? The notion is ludicrous.

True believers are a rare quantity in today’s political system where oftentimes honorable and principled people win elections but then disappear into the putrid depths of the Washington swamp, never to be seen again among the ranks of the decent. These ideological dreamers head to Congress or a president’s administration thinking they’ll change the world one signature or vote at a time, only to lose themselves and their credibility by bowing to the establishment’s pleas to cooperate and satisfy a party constituency.

In doing so these would-be leaders compromise their political souls. Former Speaker Paul Ryan is a shining example of a fallen spirit. Ryan used to believe in something before he sold out to the open borders ruling class elites, sacrificing his reputation forever. A tragic shame.

In nature, lions choose the weakest wildebeest to isolate, kill and eat. Wolves likewise stay away from dangerous prey that will fight back. Humans in highly competitive environments exhibit similar behavioral traits as these animal predators. In the NFL, for example, if you’re a cornerback who’s lost a step there’s always another one who runs a 4.3 forty waiting to take your spot. “It’s a business” is frequently heard from athletes leaving the building after being released.

Is the world of politics really so different from the jungle, the woods or an NFL team’s headquarters? Only if you’re an establishmentarian cowering behind a big desk with your title emblazoned on a nameplate and diplomas on the wall. Or if you’re a tenured professor in academia who kisses up to the politically correct commissars and is therefore walled off from challenges to the status quo.

Trump likes making changes to his personnel line-up. For those who expect -- and demand -- effective government, it’s a good thing. Former Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen seemed like a nice lady who tried hard to do what was asked of her at Homeland Security. She didn’t live up to the job. There’s probably a nice situation waiting for her on K Street now… don’t be too mournful for her or any other Trump administration “casualty.” No sympathy required.

A “house cleaning” is compulsory from time to time, right? Stephen Dinan and Dave Boyer reported at The Washington Times, “As President Trump’s shakeup at Homeland Security continues to rattle Capitol Hill, the administration says there’s a clear logic to the moves — find people who can break through the bureaucracy that so far has thwarted much of the president’s agenda.

“A senior administration official, briefing reporters Tuesday, said they’ve grown tired of watching important policies swallowed in the maw of red tape.

“The resignation of Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and the cancelation of Mr. Trump’s nominee to head U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement were meant to break with that old mentality.”

President Trump denied there’s a “house cleaning” at DHS but non-compliant holdovers from the previous administration certainly must be nervous nonetheless. The Times’ reporters indicated there are legitimate reasons for some of the delays in implementing new policies. Time will reveal what happens to the management team. Fair or not, Trump insists on results.

Meanwhile, the president’s detractors will keep griping and moaning with each succeeding changeover at or near the top. If only they’d be as upset over the snail pace of change among the intractable bureaucracy -- that’s where the real damage is done. Swamp defenders lose sight of the big picture.

It could be said Washington DC’s biggest problem is its shortage of true believers, accountable people who devote themselves to the political leadership’s mission and willingly endure hardships and establishment ridicule to get things done. With Trump, the half-committed need not apply.

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