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Trump Tries to Recoup

November 8, 2018

At yesterday’s press conference, a feisty President Trump took on an adversarial press and gave some indication that a major house cleaning would clean up a mess created by the President’s lack of experience. Within an hour of that press conference, President Trump asked for, and received, the resignation of his Attorney General. He also took action against CNN’s Jim Acosta by removing Acosta’s press credentials.

Other actions likely to occur include the resignation of Chief of Staff Kelly and Kelley’s former Chief of Staff, Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen. Both Sessions and Gen. Kelly’s appointments are representative of a lack of knowledge of the community of conservative professionals attracted to government service during the long march–from 1955 to 1980–to power and influence of the American conservative “movement.”

Former Sen. Jeff Sessions was given the Attorney General assignment because he was the first sitting Senator to endorse Trump’s candidacy and told the President-elect that he wanted it. General Kelly is representative of the President’s trust in Generals and Admirals, something he learned as a cadet at New York Military Academy. Here’s a list of former Generals and Admirals appointed to top offices in the Trump Administration.

Gen. James N. Mattis, Secretary of Defense, Gen. Michael T. Flynn, first National Security Advisor, Gen. H.R. McMastersecond National Security Advisor, Gen. John F. Kelly, Homeland Security Secretary and Chief of Staff, Brig. General, Mitchell Zais, Deputy Secretary of Education, Admiral Harry Harris, Ambassador to South Korea.

And lest we forget, U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, was a graduate of West Point who reached the rank of Captain, before leaving for a career in business.

All are honorable men, to be sure, but you can’t govern with appointees whose experience was not gained in politics. And in the case of Secretary Mattis, his appointment ignores the principle of civilian control formalized in the National Security Act of 1947 that created the Defense Department. That act made it a requirement that only civilians could lead the Defense Department and other Military Service agencies.

The one hopeful sign that President Trump is learning that there are conservative professionals he can trust is his mention of China expert and former Reagan appointee, Mike Pillsbury, at yesterday’s press conference.

Unfortunately, after two years in office, according to “Tracker,” of 702 key positions requiring Senate confirmation,131 have no nominee, 12 are awaiting nomination, 182 have been formally nominated, and 381 have been confirmed.

We can’t blame this poor showing entirely on Senate Democrats. President Trump believes that the U.S. government has too many employees and should be run like a business. Unfortunately, unlike the U.S. government, the Trump family business was a very small organization. Emulating that organization places the President’s policies at risk to failure. Even if President Trump begins to listen to, and accept the recommendations, of political conservatives willing to serve in his Administration, the future of this Administration is quite bleak.

First, there is the likelihood that the Mueller investigation will lead to indictment of the President’s son and son-in-law and other investigations are looking into possible money laundering and violations committed by the President and members of his family.

Second, the President believes that foreign policy is best conducted in personal meetings between the President and other heads of state–without proper planning required to ascertain what national interests should be advanced.

Third, the President refuses to attempt to rein in the cost of Entitlements.

Fourth, the President rejects free trade in favor of imposition of tariffs and fifth, the President has no formal training in economics.

Add to those a sixth deficiency, President Trump is dyslexic and reads with difficulty, relying on cable television reporting for basic information.

Six is not a lucky number.




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