Sunday, January 29, 2017

Radical new president stuns Washington, actually does what he said he would do

By winning the election, Donald Trump only started the process of sending official Washington into a hysterical meltdown. Conventional wisdom was that he couldn’t win, and he defied that. But there is an even more ingrained piece of conventional wisdom in Washington, and Trump is now sending the Beltway into convulsions by defying it too.

This conventional wisdom says that candidates can promise whatever they want during the course of a campaign – red meat the base, whatever you want to call it – but once it’s time to govern, the Washington establishment will set the parameters that limit what you can do, and you cannot go outside those parameters.

Mexico border wall
Another element of this conventional wisdom is the presumption that candidates know this, and have no intention once in office of defying it.

Those who assume this will always be the way it works weren’t counting on Donald Trump.

Consider the matter of the Mexico border wall. The money to build it was actually allocated in 2006, but the wall hasn’t been built in the ensuing decade because there’s a general understanding that the political class doesn’t really want the wall. It’s the sort of thing you can talk about at times when it serves your interests politically, but those in the know understand it will never be built.

Donald Trump doesn’t operate like that. We need a wall. The money’s been allocated. He’s given the order to build the wall. There’s going to be a wall.

Or take the matter of the United Nations. Conservatives often complain about the UN and talk about how we should stop funding it, since it’s fundamentally anti-American. But all we ever do is talk, and we keep on sending the checks. This past week, Trump ordered a review of that practice. It’s not yet an order to defund, but it’s farther than any president has ever gone toward possibly cutting off the UN – and the political class is going insane.

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