Lawrence Solomon: Trump is acting like a Democratic globalist — at least for now

One by one the nationalists who backed candidate Trump’s agenda were ousted in favour of the globalists. And it shows in Trump’s actions

By Lawrence Solomon, NATIONAL POST

President Donald Trump kisses his daughter Ivanka Trump, right, before speaking about tax reform at the Andeavor Mandan Refinery, Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2017, in Mandan, N.D. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall) ORG XMIT: NDCN113

After a breakneck beginning to his presidency during which Trump racked up success after success, a toothless new Trump is emerging, one who looks more like Barack Obama than Candidate Trump or Early President Trump.

Early President Trump—despite the poisonous infighting between the White House’s nationalists and globalists—halved illegal immigration and doubled GDP growth, approved the Keystone and Dakota Access Pipelines, cancelled the Paris Climate Agreement, brought back mining and manufacturing jobs and, reports the Wall Street Journal, set a record by “rolling back more regulations than any President in history.”

Then one by one the nationalists who backed Candidate Trump’s agenda—hard-liners like Steve Bannon and Sebastian Gorka—were ousted in favour of the globalists, chief among them daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner, people immune from firing. The Trump White House is now dominated by Democrats—those who donated to Democrats and would have been at home in Hillary Clinton’s White House had she won.

Not surprisingly, the White House Democrats oppose Trump’s nationalist agenda and work to curb or reverse it, a goal furthered by Trump’s appointment of Gen. John Kelly to chief of staff. In this gatekeeper role, Kelly keeps the White House on an even keel by limiting who Trump sees and talks to, and even what Trump reads (perspectives from conservative websites no longer have pride of place in informing Trump’s views). As The New York Times recently reported, “Mr. Kelly has thinned out his package of printouts so much that Mr. Trump plaintively asked a friend recently where The Daily Caller and Breitbart were.”

Kelly has done his job well. The White House is more disciplined in its running and Trump is no longer being Trump. Where before he was fulfilling campaign promises in rapid-fire order, now he is delaying and even breaking them, and also succumbing to political correctness. Candidate Trump opposed sending more troops to Afghanistan; President Trump is sending them. More surprisingly, in his speech announcing his 180 on Afghanistan, Trump made no mention of either radical Islam or radical Islamic terrorism, omissions Candidate Trump would have mocked.

The toothless new Trump can also be seen in his Obama-like response to North Korea’s development of nuclear weaponry. To stop Syrian dictator Bashar Al-Assad from deploying a lesser weapon of mass destruction—chemical weapons—Obama drew a highly publicized red line, then wimped out when Assad crossed it. To stop North Korean dictator Kim Jung-Un from threatening the U.S. with nuclear weaponry, Trump threatened “fire, fury and frankly power, the likes of which this world has never seen before,” then folded when the North Koreans not only continued their threats but also unveiled a hydrogen bomb, 10 times more powerful than the atomic bombs previously tested. Trump’s policy on North Korea differs little from Obama’s much mocked “strategic patience.” Like Obama, Trump implausibly hopes that Chinese diplomacy will save him from taking decisive military action. Like Obama, Trump dithers while North Korea’s ability to harm the U.S. grows by the day, and America’s military counters correspondingly shrink.

In other foreign policy flip-flops, Trump has failed to get tough on the Iranian nuclear deal, failed to move the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, failed to stop the Palestinians’ practice of rewarding captured or killed terrorists and their families with payments.

Trump’s list of domestic flip-flops is also growing — most recently by extending for six months Obama’s unconstitutional Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) amnesty program, by failing to prosecute corruption at the Internal Revenue Service, and by continuing to subsidize Obamacare.

Trump has a fundamental choice to make. Stick with Ivanka, the Democratic globalists, a disciplined White House, and a watered-down populist nationalist platform. That would be called #Losing. Or defy his daughter and revert to his trademark free-wheeling form, and to #Winning.

Bet on the latter, and on a new set of teeth for Trump. He’s not one for being managed for long.

September 14, 2017 | 1 Comment »

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