Trump is Smoking out Fake Conservatives
Donald Trump is one month into his presidency. For his supporters, every day is Christmas. Cabinet picks under the Christmas tree. Executive orders in the stockings hung by the chimney with care on Nov. 8. Smiles on the faces of most Republicans. Democrats gnashing their teeth and pulling out their hair.
Are all Republicans happy? Surprisingly no. I say surprisingly because for most Republicans, the current legislative landscape is a once in a lifetime opportunity. The GOP controls the White House and both houses of Congress. As well as most state governorships and legislatures. Not to mention numerous county and local offices.
Despite pre-election predictions to the contrary, Republicans ran the table on Nov. 8. Now there is no threat of a presidential veto. Even the filibuster has been neutered thanks to Harry Reid’s myopic view of his party’s future control of the U.S. Senate.
Republicans, particularly self-described conservatives, should celebrating and perhaps even gloating. President Trump, while not a textbook conservative, is a dream come true for the conservative movement. To start with, he is doing exactly what he said he would do, following through on campaign promises. Unlike most GOP members of Congress.
The promised wall will be built. The bidding process for the southern border wall has begun. Trump signed an executive order this week establishing task forces to eliminate anti-business and anti-job regulations. The U.S. pulled out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Another executive order froze federal hiring, a first but necessary step for reining in a gargantuan government.
The Keystone and Dakota pipelines will move forward after another executive order, a necessary step for energy independence. The opening gambit for Obamacare repeal came in the form of another executive order directing federal agencies to take steps “to ease the burden of Obamacare.”
Immigration reform, despite the Ninth Circuit bump in the road, is proceeding. Funding for sanctuary cities will be cut as will “catch and release” programs. Soon Trump will issue a new executive order limiting immigration from terror haven countries. Don’t forget tax cuts, the likes of which haven’t been seen since the Reagan era.
Going further is the promise to build up a massively depleted military. Along with resetting a neglected relationship with Israel. And standing up to Iranian missile threats.
And long overdue, a Republican punching back at a biased and agenda-driven media. Something that the Bushes, McCain and Romney couldn’t or wouldn’t do. Music to Republican ears, a president calling out CNN as “fake news” and disinviting left-wing news organizations CNN, New York Times, Politico and BuzzFeed from a recent press briefing.
All in all, conservative dreams coming true. Smaller government, less regulation, secure borders, tax cuts, and a strong military.
Then there are his cabinet picks. Trump’s cabinet has a more conservative rating than even Reagan’s, according to the American Conservative Union. His first Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch, is described as a textualist and originalist in the mold of Justice Scalia.
So why aren’t conservatives giddy? Either they are not really conservatives. Or else their hatred of Donald Trump “trumps’ their so-called conservatism. Want some examples?
George Will, described in his Wikipedia entry as “a conservative political commentator”, believes conservatives “will turn on Trump by mid-summer.” Poor George left the Republican Party over Trump’s election, lost his gig as a Fox News contributor, and is now a regular on MSNBC. What happened to his conservative principles?
Bill Kristol, editor of the supposedly conservative Weekly Standard, prefers a political victory of “the deep state to the Trump state.” He is joined by Sen. John McCain, referring to President Trump as a “dictator.” He is much more of a critic of his party’s president than he ever was of the opposing party’s president and his 2008 presidential opponent.
George, Bill and John, so-called conservative Republicans, sounding far more like Nancy Pelosi or Maxine Waters. The mask is off. They are anything but conservatives. Why else would they so oppose a once in a lifetime opportunity to realize their political hopes and dreams?
There are many others in Congress, other halls of government and the media similarly revealing their skin-deep conservatism by criticizing or opposing President Trump. The Bush family and Mitt Romney are examples. They wouldn’t support his candidacy and won’t support his presidency. We all have friends or relatives fitting this description. Supposed conservative Republicans who thought Trump was a lunatic and unfit for public office, voting instead for Hillary Clinton, and still hurling vitriol at Trump on social media and to anyone who will listen to their rants.
Some conservatives. If it was President Jeb Bush saying and doing exactly the same things as Trump, but in his own “low energy Jeb” way, would George Will, Bill Kristol and all the other faux-conservatives be happier? Or would they really prefer that we have a Madame President today, raising taxes, opening our borders, pushing single-payer healthcare, appointing far left cabinet officials and Supreme Court justices?
Besides hitting the reset button after eight years of a hard-left social, political and economic drift of America, President Trump is shining a light on fake conservatives. Those not to be listened to, not to be trusted, and not to be taken seriously as conservatives.
As Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis observed, “Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants.” Trump is shining a bright light on the faux conservatives.
Brian C. Joondeph, MD, MPS, is a Denver-based physician and writer. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter.