Like everybody else who follows policy and politics, I’m still trying to figure out how to interpret the Trump administration. I have to say, though, that I think a lot of established pundits on my side of the ideological field are getting something very wrong. Here’s Jonah Goldberg, for example, writing about Trump’s executive order related to refugees:
If Trump had given agency professionals 30 days to review his order on refugees, he could have avoided the confusion at airports, not to mention the media hysteria and the protests. And if his communications team had been given time, they could have preempted some of the wild claims made by Democratic detractors.
I don’t believe this is accurate. If word of the deliberation had leaked — or if the policy had been discussed openly — we’d have had the same reaction, but without its being rooted to an actual order. Opponents would have been able to warn of even more extreme possibilities, and moderation in the course of developing the policy would have been presented as hiding true, evil intentions, rather than error.
Then there’s John Podhoretz, talking during a Commentary podcast on Ricochet. He warns that President Trump’s style and speed is galvanizing the Left, worrying, for instance, that no Democrats will be able to vote for Trump nominees, and the president won’t be able to peel Congressional Democrats away from their party for his policy initiatives.
Democrats may take that approach, but I’m not so sure it’s something that should frighten Republicans. From where I stand in Rhode Island, waching the Far Left push the U.S. Senate’s most outrageous lefty, Sheldon Whitehouse, to be even more unreasonable, I don’t see how this can possibly be a majority-winner, especially this far out from an election
It seems like even conservative pundits want normality to apply in some way, but Obama, his party, and the news media have proven that the state of affairs we used to see as normality was just an illusion that served progressives’ ends.