Sunday, December 11, 2016
Trump's Tea Party Presidency
More than a month after the election, it still isn't clear what the Trump Administration will really be like. However, his cabinet picks suggest that the political weather may soon be getting a bit chilly if you are Islamic, an immigrant, a climate change alarmist or someone with an Obamacare insurance policy.
While we wait for the president-elect to further flesh out his goals, I'm reminded of something I saw on TV during the campaign. The host was interviewing guests who claimed to be experts on the career of Donald Trump, and at one point they were asked what kind of president Trump would be. They described him as a person who is totally fixated on whatever goal he has chosen until he achieves it. Shortly afterward, he usually begins to lose interest in his achievement until some new challenge comes along, at which point he moves on without looking back.
According to these talking heads, whose names I don't recall because the interview seemed unimportant at the time, for all the concern about what Trump will do in office, Trump is likely to become known as the golfing president. Oh sure, there will be a flurry of activity in the first three or four months, where money is appropriated to beef up the wall at the Mexican border, Obamacare is repealed and lot of President Obama's executive orders are rescinded. But then may come the time when Trump's direct engagement begins to fade. If so, expect an increase in his golfing schedule.
There will be others waiting to fill the resulting vacuum. Chief among them will be Paul Ryan in the House and Mitch McConnell in the Senate, both of whom will crank up the legislative law making machinery to high gear. Imagine a conveyor belt between the congress and the White House, with Ryan, McConnell and the Tea Partiers in congress passing one piece of legislation after another, each one serving in some degree to either block, repeal or defund the political legacy of the Left. Then Donald Trump, stopping by the White House in between celebrity golf tournaments, will simply sign whatever is put in front of him.
In that sense, Trump's presidency may well be remembered as The Tea Party Presidency, after the political faction whose ideology will dominate his term, mostly by default.