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Irruption of Sycophants

December 8, 2016

Anthony Scarmucci, managing partner in a hedge fund, was opposed to Donald Trump and backed Scott Walker and Jeb Bush. Now facing reality, he signed on to Donald Trump’s finance committee. With that capitulation comes eating some crow and on MSNBC this morning, “the Mooch,” as he is known on Wall Street, was asked to comment on Donald Trump’s tweet directed at the head of the Carrier Corporation’s labor union.

Scarmucci knows that it is extremely unusual, and probably perceived as offensive, for a President-elect to single out one labor union leader for criticism, but, hey, he signed onto the Trump Team and now it’s up to him to do the best he can with a bad situation.

Two days ago, the Heritage Foundation announced that it would hold a special event for one thousand dollar donors of Heritage at the Trump hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue. The speaker is Vice President-Elect, Mike Pence.

All this is indicative of the professionals in Washington and Wall Street moving in to protect their interests and garner whatever it is they need or want.

In the case of professionals in the “conservative business” that make up what is left of the conservative “movement” in our nation’s Capitol, their interest is in attracting donors and using what influence they have to demonstrate that they are not irrelevant.

In other words, the leaders of the conservative business have ceded their ability–and interest, if they had any–in holding the new President’s feet to the fires of principled conservatism.

That began in the Reagan Administration when the major conservative organizations became so close to that Administration that they could not bring themselves to criticize it, even when James Baker, George Shultz and Bud MacFarlane had strayed far from a conservative foreign policy course. That’s one of the reasons that Americans are still not protected from a nuclear attack, even though President Reagan tried to build a space-based laser defense against incoming missiles.

Donald Trump is not Ronald Reagan and very quickly the professionals in the conservative business will have to oppose Trumpean policies or lose face with those same one thousand dollar donors who are streaming to that five-star Trump International Hotel to bask in the light and warmth of political power.

What does this irruption of sycophants portend for ordinary conservatives who desperately want to limit the powers and growth of the administrative state, protect the American people from nuclear attack, reduce the deficit, constrain the burden of Entitlements and keep the United States out of the business of waging imperial war?

 

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