People agree our political circuits are overloaded. They disagree over who is responsible and how the Trump administration should move forward.
Matthew Continetti, who previously called for a Trump “blitzkrieg,” finds DC’s circuits overloaded with the “negative energy” of the media, the entrenched liberal bureaucracy, and Congress, Democrats and Republicans alike. He sees a do-nothing GOP leadership as possibly complicit in a scheme to tame Trump.
Peggy Noonan, who has been as friendly to Trump as someone who once dubbed him “Crazy Man” can be, believes the administration is responsible and that “[t]he overcharged circuits are leaving them singed, too.”
On Congress, Noonan adds with respect to the EO on Immigration from the Middle East: “You have to help your allies in the agencies and on the Hill know, understand and be able to defend what you’re doing. Instead, they were ignored, especially lawmakers. The Congress of the United States is not composed of meek and modest human beings. They were not amused to spend the days after the order taking phone calls from frightened, angry constituents and donors. (A senator, on its suddenness and the anguish at the airports: ‘They couldn’t do a three-day grace period?’)”
What Noonan understands is that blitzkrieg is a method of combined arms. You can’t get air support for your ground assault if you don’t notify the aviators of your plans.
The manner in which the immigration EO rolled out didn’t just result in bad PR and losses in courts (both of which may be mitigated by the overreaching of the Left). It helped decrease confidence in Trump by Congress, particularly his hiring Hill staffers behind Congress’s back with non-disclosure agreements.
If there is to be any sort of Trump blitzkrieg, he will need to have some trust in his field generals. Continetti asks, “Why is Mitch McConnell not playing hardball with Chuck Schumer on executive branch appointments and Judge Gorsuch?” He then offers the straw man answer that “Things take time” — time Trump purportedly does not have.
But maybe the real answer is that rushing Jeff Sessions into office as Attorney General could have doomed the nominations of Betsy DeVos at Education and Mick Mulvaney at OMB. As with the immigration EO, rushing forward can be a good way to step on a rake, or two or three or four.
To his credit, Trump now seems to realize that some of his looser cannons need to be reined in. The smooth rollout of the Gorsuch nomination suggests he may also be recognizing the value of outreach. His supporters shouldn’t mind a more deliberate, less insular Trump, if it makes him more successful.
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