“Let Reagan Be Reagan” was the cry of right wingers during the conservative hero’s administration. Now that the Republicans are the party of Trump, it should be the slogan of nationalists and immigration patriots who want the President-elect to fulfill his promises. And that means keeping the pressure on against the enemies within Trump’s own party.
As this is written, the speculation about Cabinet appointments is receiving the most attention, with the Main Stream Media resembling those Kremlinologists from the 1970s who attached great importance to the seating order at the May Day Parade. Today, we get breathless reports about who is or is not being invited to Trump Tower. And ominously, it is Mitt Romney who is making a return appearance to Trump’s home this Tuesday.
“Personnel is policy” in the words of conservative organizer Morton Blackwell, and Romney’s sins are threefold.
Indeed, immigration patriots should be especially concerned because a loyal Secretary of State will be needed to address the problem of visa overstays and to convince foreign countries to take back their criminals, something Hillary Clinton notably failed to do and which Trump has promised to correct [Hillary Clinton didn’t press countries to take back their criminal aliens, by Stephen Dinan, Washington Times, September 1, 2016].
Romney as Secretary of State would indicate, first, that Trump has no intention to #DrainTheSwamp of the usual suspects, and second, that Trump will follow the same old Republican foreign policy which practically destroyed the party in the eyes of an entire generation.
The former Massachusetts governor has no particular experience which would make him qualified to be Secretary of State; if he absolutely had to be in the Cabinet to “unite the party,” it would make far more sense to put in him in the Commerce Department or the Department of Veterans Affairs.
A stronger candidate: Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, who actually has relevant experience because of his service on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Rohrabacher is an immigration patriot with real political backbone when it comes to opposing amnesty as well as an opponent of renewed tensions with Putin’s Russia [Putin’s watching out for Russia, we should do the same’: US Congressman on US-Russia relations, Russia Today, April 7, 2016]. Both qualities will be needed if Trump doesn’t want to end up like George W. Bush.
However, what’s even more concerning than the battle over the State Department is the policy plan for the new administration.
As Mickey Kaus points out, Republicans under Speaker Paul Ryan are showing their hand by pushing for modifying Medicare and implementing regulatory reform and upper class taxes first, thus ensuring there won’t be any time for Trump to push through the trade and immigration plans which got him elected and ensure his political survival. Instead, the House Republicans seem determined to drag Trump into the same kind of idiotic crusade to reform Social Security that crippled George W. Bush’s second term before it even really began.
Former Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert is leading Trump's Social Security Administration "landing team." Leppert supported Ryan-style Medicare reform and personal retirement accounts as part of Social Security during a failed Senate race in 2012.As Kaus notes, once the Chamber of Commerce Republicans get what they want on taxes and regulation, they will have no need to back Trump any longer. After all, Ryan already showed his willingness to throw the 2016 election by backing the attempted October Coup against Trump.
[Can the Trump-Ryan team deliver, by W. James Antle, Washington Examiner, November 27, 2016]
Trump can only count on the loyalty of the Republican Congress as long as they are afraid of him. He needs to keep them afraid.
In turn, Trump needs to fear his own base. Ann Coulter identified a profound political truth when she said that, without his core supporters, “Trump can be killed with a paper cut” [Coulter, Immigration Hawks Already Worried Trump Going Soft, WND, November 25, 2016].
Trump famously bragged during the campaign he could “shoot someone” and get away with it. But the loyalty he inspired wasn’t because of him personally. It was because Trump, and Trump alone, championed the nationalist cause on issues like trade and immigration and brought out the white working class voters who would have stayed home if the Republicans had nominated another Mitt Romney.
If Trump tries to govern as a Jack Kemp/Paul Ryan Republican, he will find his most loyal supporters will desert him at the very moment he will need them the most.
For that reason, Trump must appoint Cabinet officials who aren’t just loyal but are willing to fight on his signature issues. Jeff Sessions as Attorney General is a promising beginning but it is not enough. Trump should appoint Kris Kobach as the head of the Department of Homeland Security not just to ensure his policy program is fulfilled, but to ensure his own political survival.
“Decius,” author of the viral “Flight 93 Election” piece, points out that Trump’s most dire threat comes from within his own party. To respond to this threat, Trump needs Kobach.
Kris Kobach is arguably the smartest, best-informed and most vigilant immigration patriot in the country today [author note: next to Peter Brimelow] … The DHS Secretary doesn’t need to be a counter-terror whiz. He needs to be a barn-burner at the agency’s first and fundamental task: protecting the border. Which Kobach is…Trump didn’t win because he had a reality show. He didn’t win because Trump’s opponents were incompetent. He didn’t win because he was underestimated.
Trump, who is not seasoned in the ways of Washington, perhaps can be forgiven for not understanding—yet—what he’s up against. But surely Pence and Sessions know. The one-two punch of Sessions at Justice and Kobach at DHS will serve the political purpose of shoring up Trump’s base and the policy of purpose of delivering on his most fundamental promise.
Giving DHS to someone on the basis of loyalty or “diversity” or anything other than a true commitment to its core task would be a profound mistake—one that the President-elect, and his country, will pay for in the years and decades to come.
[Kris Kobach for DHS Secretary, American Greatness, November 26, 2016]
Donald Trump won because he built a coalition in American politics which will be fanatically loyal to him as long as he delivers on trade and immigration. Because of that, he has a unique personal bond with his supporters that has carried him through crises which would have smashed any other man.
But it won’t survive betrayal.
Trump noted during one debate that his biggest flaw was that he was “too trusting,” but coupled that with the admission that he “never forgives” disloyalty.
Let’s hope he sticks to that principle. If Trump wants to be a successful president, he needs to remember what made him a successful candidate.