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Sunday, September 10, 2017

Good analysis from the NYT

Peter Baker, chief White House correspondent for the New York Times, had a pretty good evaluation of President Trump.

No, I have not been drinking.

Baker sees Trump for what he is: a third-party candidate who used the Republican Party to gain ballot access.

Republicans went with him because he espoused the policies they espoused.

The trouble is he does not just espouse them, he believes in them and is acting on them.

You can see where this would off-put lip-service conservatives. Notice how many go of on him at the slightest provocation.
In a column on Saturday, Peter Baker acknowledged Trump's insurgency. The editors correctly illustrated it with a photo of supporters of Ross Perot's 1992 Reform Party campaign.

Two years later, Newt Gingrich led the Republican takeover of Congress for the first time in 40 years, which led to a balanced budget four years later.

Trump would have been the Reform Party candidate in 200 if he had not realized that it was filled with kooks by that time.

His year was 2016.

Baker wrote:
Now in the White House, President Trump demonstrated this past week that he still imagines himself a solitary cowboy as he abandoned Republican congressional leaders to forge a short-term fiscal deal with Democrats. Although elected as a Republican last year, Mr. Trump has shown in the nearly eight months in office that he is, in many ways, the first independent to hold the presidency since the advent of the current two-party system around the time of the Civil War.
Actually the Republican Party supports him.

The leadership does not.

He's draining the swamp, and that gives them pause.

However, the deal with the Democrats was pretty tame -- insider stuff -- as they agreed to wait until after hurricane season is over before wrestling over the budget.

Most Republicans went with the compromise, as did all the Democrats who voted on it.

But Trump is unbound by party and by donors. He cannot be bought, which makes people in Hookerville DC suspicious.

From Baker:
“The truth is that he is a political independent, and he obviously won the nomination and the presidency by disrupting a lot of norms that Republicans had assumed about their own party and their own voters,” said Ben Domenech, publisher of The Federalist, a conservative website. “This week was the first time he struck out and did something completely at odds with what the Republican leadership and establishment would want him to do in this position.”
Domenech is no conservative, having signed up for that gawdawful "Against Trump" issue of National Review that was beyond parody.

Nevertheless, he speaks a truth.

Trump reformed the Republican Party. The old king makers -- as Phyllis Schlafly loved to call them -- are impotent.

From Baker:
Until now, the American two-party system has resisted assaults from the outside for more than a century and a half. No new party has captured the presidency since Abraham Lincoln’s Republicans in 1860.
Even formidable figures like Theodore Roosevelt failed to break up the duopoly. Unhappy with his Republican successor, William Howard Taft, Roosevelt formed his own Progressive Party, also known as the Bull Moose Party, to mount a comeback in 1912, winning 27 percent of the popular vote and 88 electoral votes, but losing to the Democrat, Woodrow Wilson.
Strom Thurmond in 1948 and George Wallace in 1968 staged independent candidacies founded on overtly racial appeals. John B. Anderson, a moderate Republican congressman, ran as an independent in 1980. The high-water mark since Roosevelt came in 1992, when Mr. Perot won 19 percent of the popular vote as an independent; he ran again in 1996 and drew less than half of that.
By running within the Republican Party, Mr. Trump last year managed what they never did, while making clear that he was not really a party man. The feeling was mutual. The Republican establishment resisted even after he had won enough primaries to secure the nomination, and he repeatedly threatened to run as an independent if he felt mistreated.
This was a brilliant strategy.

President Trump did not re-invent the wheel.

He copped it.

From Baker:
Other presidents have tacked against their own parties at times. Franklin D. Roosevelt sought to oust conservative Democrats who bucked him during party primaries in 1938. Ronald Reagan worked with Democrats, who controlled the House, to pass his agenda. Mr. Clinton introduced the term “triangulation” to the political vocabulary as he negotiated budget and welfare deals with Speaker Newt Gingrich.
But none seemed as distant from his own party as Mr. Trump. Breitbart News, the archconservative website run by his former adviser Stephen K. Bannon, delights in attacking establishment Republicans like Mr. Ryan. At a conference in Washington this past week featuring prominent political veterans from both parties, Republicans often expressed harsher assessments of Mr. Trump than Democrats did.
What Baker overlooked in his analysis is that President Trump is governing like a Republican, or rather like Republicans promise they would. He is shrinking the government before our very eyes. He's downsizing the staff, and slowing down -- even rolling back -- regulations. He is appointing conservative judges, and enforcing immigration laws.

In short, Trump is turning the Republican Party into -- gasp -- the Republican Party.


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  1. Breitbart, archconservative, what a hoot. This Baker dude needs to get out more.

  2. This blather is the NYT attacking Republicans and hoping Trump will want want all good NYCer and politicans crave, their eletist approval with it's guaranteed promise of a nice obituary.
    By focusing on the optics of hugging the slimeworm Schumer they are saying What they really want is for Trump now to morph into the worst socially destructive politician New York ever produced, Nelson Rockefeller. In fact this transformation is what the Never Trumpers also fear. As a liberal Republican Rocky was able to crush NY with welfare, immigration, taxation, huge debt,and Democrat rule from which it has never recovered. Their skillful obituary of him avoided his death in the saddle, to his family's relief. This is whom they hope he will be, but if not so what. The don'care.
    From the NYT point of view, Trump has done nothing that a few executive orders can't remedy when the next Communist is elected. Only long term hard to fix laws are reasons for concern. They don't think he will get much hence their faint and lying praises, such as they are.

  3. Here's another good analysis - with a pretty good rip on Jonah Goldberg thrown in just for the fun of it - over at American greatness. - Elric

    1. Agreed. An excellent article from an excellent site. Goldberg may be the most insane of the never trumpers. From the article - "Goldberg regularly confuses the citation of misleading facts with the process of building arguments".

  4. This is interesting for explaining the difficulties Trump and the agenda we voted for is having with Republican leadership (which doesn't get it yet). It also offers a plan or a hope that Trump can capture the momentum of the GOPe (or "leadership") and lead them where the Republican base wants to go -- like that old saying of how politicians don't tend to lead as much as rush to get out front of the parade and wave and grin.

  5. Correction, Don: Republican VOTERS supported Trump; the Republican PARTY "leadership" did not.
    They still don't. He's dragging them, kicking and screaming, into the 21st century, and they don't like it!

  6. "In short, Trump is turning the Republican Party into -- gasp -- the Republican Party."

    I can't agree with this. The Republican Party started as a leftist party and has remained to the left of center its entire existence.

  7. "He's draining the swamp, and that gives them pause."

    Can you do an article with more information on how Trump is draining the swamp?

    The DOJ and FBI are still covering for the crimes of the previous administration, and still conducting a witch hunt to try to remove Trump from office. I don't see how you can say the swamp is draining if the corrupt government is still protecting corrupt officials, and if the main law-enforcement arm is a political tool still under control of the swamp creatures despite an AG appointed by Trump.

    Right now, to me, it looks like the swamp is winning. I hope Trump can be more successful in the future, but I don't see any draining right now.

  8. ... And Trump is surrounded by swamp creatures, McMaster and Kelly - all his loyal supporters are gone.