Saturday, March 24, 2018

March 24, 2018

MY CORNER by Boyd Cathey

TRUMP vs. the DC SWAMP: Give this Round to the Swamp, as the Trump Agenda Hangs by a Thread


Despite his attempt to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear (to employ the classic expression made famous by Jonathan Swift, Sir Walter Scott and others), President Donald Trump got rolled by the DC “swamp” this past week…and rolled badly, to the point that at the very least much of his “make America great again” agenda was at the very least put on permanent hold, if not sabotaged and put on life support.

The $1.3 trillion budget he signed—and signed admittedly against his better instincts—is a disaster for his announced stepped-up border enforcement and the beginning of the construction of the “wall” he promised repeatedly during the presidential campaign. And it funds those very same sanctuary cities that are flagrantly defying federal statutes on immigration. Additionally, it extends handsome grants to the abortionists at Planned Parenthood.

True—and this is the rationale that General Mattis and others certainly used to persuade the president against his better judgment to sign this outrageous deficit-bloating elephant—it funds the military, and funds it handsomely. And, yes, our troops need pay raises. But at what price? Indeed, the newly budgeted and updated weapons systems, the hundreds of billions in new spending (in some cases beyond the president’s requests), would appear calculated for a heightened American military expansion worldwide, everywhere on globe, in any and every faraway conflict in every desert oasis or jungle in East Timor or South Sudan.

Yet, this was not—is not—the foreign policy agenda Americans voted for in November 2016. It was not the agenda enunciated by candidate Trump. This is not the essence of traditional American conservatism. And, I have to believe, that it is not what his instincts actually were.

Yes, he promised to strengthen and rebuild our military, to enhance the fighting ability of our armed forces, to provide our troops not only with the most up-to-date weaponry but long overdue salary increases. And that is much needed. But this budget goes far beyond that. Indeed, it is a fervent globalist Neoconservative’s fondest dream: billions to engage in new and future conflicts all across the face of the globe, and all in the name of “making the world safe for liberal democracy” and the imposition of what is not-so-politely called “American values” (which in too many cases are little more than open doors to crass commercialism, a Wall Street stranglehold of local economies, and the forced importation of the worst and most tawdry aspects of a decadent morality which infects and destroys traditional societies).

This is not what Donald Trump promised, and down deep this is the reason he hesitated long before reluctantly signing what may be the worst piece of legislation to be vomited forth by that fetid bog known as the “US Congress” in many a decade.

There was Senator Chuck Schumer, a broad smile on his face, praising this enacted budget as exactly what the Democrats wanted; there was Senator Mitch McConnell, with a broad smile on his face also, congratulating his colleagues [AKA, the other swamp-dwelling DC swine], on a “job well done” and “averting a government shutdown.” And there were millions of “deplorables,” folks who voted for President Trump, wondering what the Hell had just happened.

Very simply: the Swamp won this one. That is, for the rest of 2018 leading up to the congressional elections in November, the Trump Make American Great Again program is basically dead, at least in Congress. And that is exactly as Congress wanted it, both Democrats AND Republicans. Indeed, the Congressional GOP, with a few exceptions (e.g. Senator Rand Paul, and the hard core Republican right wingers in the House), are about as useful to that agenda as how FDR’s first vice-president, John Nance Garner, characterized the office of the vice-presidency: worth as much as a bucket of warm p—s.” The difference being that Garner’s liquid was at least not harmful to the Constitution; the Congressional Republicans, the majority of them, on the other hand, collaborate with the Democrat radicals and enable them, and thus facilitate the end of what is left of the old republic.

The emperor Napoleon’s head of secret police, Joseph Fouche’, on learning of the assassination by French authorities of the Duke of Enghien (1804) and witnessing the universally negative reaction to it, famously stated: “It’s worse than a crime, it’s a blunder.”

That is exactly what happened this past week, and what Donald Trump certainly recognized instinctively—he actually said as much, before violating and going against those very instincts; rather than following his essentially sound intuition, he listened to those cloying courtiers, those sweet-sounding sirens (AKA, “advisers”) who have managed to climb the greasy pole and in large part surround him. And those bureaucrats do not really serve the president, nor do they serve the American citizens, and certainly not those who voted for President Trump. 

Indeed, again this past week there was news of a major leak of supposedly-secure presidential business regarding the Mueller investigation that had to have come from senior White House staff. Loyalty to the president? Or loyalty to the Deep State? And these are the same “advisers” who convinced the president to ignore his better judgment, his America First program, and embrace what can only be called the contrary.

And so, what is it that Republican congressional leaders and candidates can offer to the American electorate this fall? Other than a tax cut, what is there left of the Trump agenda in 2018? Ironically, this is probably exactly how the swamp-GOP wanted it: first, get Trump’s ear and surround him with “advisers,” then get him to put a bullet into his own announced agenda, and do it despite his promises and his own very reluctant hesitation.  That is, triangulation once again: “You haven’t got any choice, Mr. President. If you veto the legislation, why, there will be more gridlock and a government shutdown, which will be blamed on you (and us!), and you’ll end up getting nothing!”

Argument made; case closed; and managerial government back to normal. The swamp wins.

But this is exactly why millions of Americans voted for Donald Trump: to disrupt and stop this normalcy, or at least go down trying to stop it. And Donald Trump, the master of the deal, the master negotiator, had proven earlier that he was capable of rolling the Democrats and forcing a recalcitrant GOP to do his bidding (and humiliating Chuck Schumer). But not this time.

I have been a staunch supporter of Donald Trump since 2015; I went to a December 3, 2015, rally for him in Raleigh, North Carolina; and I have defended him repeatedly since then…with a few notable exceptions: the insane appointment of South Carolina’s Nikki Haley as UN ambassador, the false flag bombing in Syria, and the need to hold a strong line on DACA. I continue to wish him well and will support him in those items he promised the electorate in 2016. But last week he shot himself not just in the foot, but in the temple. It is not fatal, at least not yet; but it could very well become so.

And the president’s agenda was not helped at all by the naming of former UN ambassador John Bolton as his new National Security Advisor. Bolton, over the years, has expressed a frenzied globalist New World Order view of the world and foreign affairs almost the exact opposite of Donald Trump’s. On the failed Iraqi operation, on Syria, on Russia, on North Korea, Bolton’s solution has been: commit American boys to die—and for what? “Democratic values.” Like other more exalted Neoconservatives he has never seen a far off foreign war that he’s never liked.

Here is what The American Conservative editorialized on March 23:

In 2013, Donald Trump tweeted, “All former Bush administration officials should have zero standing on Syria. Iraq was a waste of blood & treasure.” He campaigned on the promise of ending a foreign policy based on “intervention and chaos,” and he was elected to put America’s interests first.

Last night, President Trump broke with these promises by appointing Ambassador John Bolton to the position of National Security Advisor effective on April 9th. Bolton is an ardent defender of regime change whose preferred method of “diplomacy” is preventative war. He embodies the worst of foreign policy thought from the Bush years and will certainly pressure the president to take aggressive actions against Iran, North Korea, Russia, and China, which could put us on the path to future wars.  

The best explanation for Bolton’s appointment is that President Trump values having strong persons around him with differing opinions, and Bolton is forceful and a believer in “American power.”  Maybe so; but such a rationale seems thin gruel, indeed.

Where does this leave Trump voters, the “deplorables,” we bitter clingers? And what of the America First agenda?

First and foremost, despite the inclination to simply throw in the towel and resign ourselves to what appears to be the inevitable triumph of the Deep State, we are not permitted that luxury. The stakes are far too high. This is a life-and-death battle. And I believe future polling and the voice of his base will indicate that to the president, despite the business-as-usual voices around him.

I don’t always agree with Rush Limbaugh, but catching a bit of his program after the president’s decision to sign the omnibus bill, every caller expressed dismay, disappointment and outrage… as did Rush, himself. Certainly, the president must be aware of that, in spite of the best efforts of some to convince him of the rightness of his decision. Millions of citizens need to deluge the White House with messages and missives expressing those exact sentiments.

Second, draining the swamp means not just electing a “president bull-in-the-china shop” to shake things up, but to physically “clean out the Augean stables” as did Hercules (with apologies to Greek mythology)—cleaning out the stinking manure factory which is known as “Congress.” And that means not only defeating Democrats but ridding ourselves (mostly through primaries) of Deep State establishment Republicans. And that means challenging them and mounting campaigns against them, despite pleas from party hierarchs that such action would “hurt party unity.” Those big boy power brokers need to be reminded that unity is entirely secondary when you seem to be going down on the RMS Titanic.

Thirdly, and I return to this topic again as in past columns, we must reject in the strongest of terms those false friends of the president, those fair weather supporters, those minions of the so-called “conservative movement, inc.,” who continue to try their damnedest to lasso the president and corral him on their ideologically rotten “establishment” plantation. For that would negate his entire agenda of nationalist and populist conservatism, of America First positions that won him the presidency against sixteen political pygmies representing that same discredited establishment.

And that means rejecting the nostrums of such Neoconservative organs as National Review, The Weekly Standard, the Ethics and Public Policy Center, the American Enterprise Institute, and the dozens of other establishment, Neocon-infested organizations that provide the venom that infects the GOP and has so poisoned and perverted traditional Old Right American conservatism. And save for, on occasion, Tucker Carlson (and maybe a few others) on Fox that means absorbing much of what is propagated by that network with a hyper-critical eye. Many, if not most, of its commentators are left over Bushites whose support for the president is highly qualified and sculpted: only when he takes “direction” of the “conservative” establishment are they happy.

As in the case of Karl Rove, Trump’s populist and nationalist conservatism scares them, and while they normally do not frontally oppose it (like Jeff Flake, Ben Sasse and John McCain do), they still do their best to divert, control and shape it—just as what occurred with the omnibus budget bill.

From the beginning we knew this battle—this war—was going to be bloody and awful, and that the election, as difficult and seemingly miraculous as it was, would be only a first step. And, given what has happened since—the continued and forceful attempts to undo and negate the results of the American election [and our leaders have the unmitigated gall to criticize Vladimir Putin on his election which 1,500 mostly foreign poll watchers said was fair!] through fraudulent investigations and spurious accusations—and the utter refusal of Congress to even consider the president’s agenda—probably none of this should be surprising.

Nevertheless, the de facto surrender to the Deep State swamp this past week—even with the explanations and apologies—was a major blow. It was not yet a Gettysburg event, but it came close. And now our question must be: “Mr. President, we elected you to be a Nathan Bedford Forrest. Please don’t become a Braxton Bragg!”

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                                                         April 30, 2021   MY CORNER by Boyd Cathey   The Survival of Western Culture...