The Trump Presidency, So Far

Yes, yes, The Curmudgeon knows, the poor guy was only sworn in three days ago, but still…

We’re all accustomed to candidates for public office reneging on their campaign promises once elected and ignoring the campaign trail rhetoric they used to win their elections. The Curmudgeon cannot recall, however, a candidate who abandoned so many of those promises and set aside that rhetoric so quickly, so easily, and in so thoroughly unapologetic a manner as the new, orange-coated Leader of the Free World.

Consider:

He said he would build a wall. Now? He’s talking about a fence, not a wall, and not an uninterrupted fence, and only maybe, and the idea that Mexico will pay for it has quietly disappeared from public discourse.

He said he would “lock her up” – that is, prosecute Hillary Clinton for her email-related crimes. Now? He says it’s not going to happen.

A $1 trillion infrastructure bill, to put people to work? No longer in his immediate plans. In its place: tax cuts for those in the upper-income tax brackets.

Wonderful.

Isn't it comforting to know that the economy is in the hands of a guy from Goldman Sachs?

Isn’t it comforting to know that the economy is in the hands of a guy from Goldman Sachs?

He railed against Wall Street – and now is filling his administration with Wall Street alumni, including:

  • Steve Bannon as “chief strategist” (Goldman Sachs)
  • Steve Mnuchin, Secretary of the Treasury (Goldman Sachs)
  • Gary Cohn, Council of Economic Advisors (Goldman Sachs)
  • Wilbur Ross, Commerce Secretary (Rothschild Investments, W.L. Ross & Co.)
  • Carl Icahn, advisor (Wall Street vulture capitalist)
Know-nothing general one day, Secretary of Defense the next.

Know-nothing general one day, Secretary of Defense the next.

He told us he knew more about military matters than the generals but has appointed a bunch of those previously clueless generals to cabinet positions:

  • James Mattis, Defense Secretary
  • John Kelly, Secretary of Homeland Security
  • Michael Flynn, national security advisor

For those of you keeping score at home, that’s more generals in the cabinet than at any time since World War II.

He insisted that Obamacare was a disaster and that he would repeal and replace it on day one. That didn’t happen: it looks like mid-March before there’s any real repeal and replacement. Also, he now says there are parts of Obamacare worth keeping, like the ban on denying coverage based on pre-existing conditions and the ability to keep adult children on their parents’ policy until they reach the age of 26. So it turns out it wasn’t entirely a disaster, was it?

Of course there’s no way he can even find, let alone deport, all 11 million illegal immigrants currently in the country. When was the last time you heard any of the Trump people even talk about this? Oh, when they were making campaign promises? Riiiiiight.

sessions

Swamp creature

And he said he would “drain the swamp,” referring to kicking Washington insiders out of government.   But look at all the Washington insiders he’s now invited to join him (and all those suddenly not-so-clueless generals) in the swamp:

  • Mike Pompeo, CIA director, a three-term congressman
  • Jeff Sessions, Attorney General, a four-term senator who was rejected as a nominee to the federal bench 30 years ago because he was considered too racist
  • Robert Lightizer, U.S. trade representative, an alumnus of the Reagan administration
  • Tom Price, Health and Human Services Secretary, a six-term congressman
  • Elaine Chao, Secretary of Transportation, who was Deputy Transportation Secretary in the Reagan administration and Labor Secretary in the Bush Jr. administration
  • Ryan Zink, Interior Secretary, a two-term congressman
  • Sean Spicer, White House Press Secretary, formerly communications director of the Republican National Committee
  • Reince Priebus, chief of staff, former chairman of the Republican National Committee
  • Thomas Bossart, homeland security advisor, who was deputy homeland security advisor in the Bush Jr. administration
  • Donald McGahn II, White House counsel, a member of the Federal Elections Commission during the Bush Jr. administration.

To be clear, The Curmudgeon isn’t casting aspersion on the qualifications of any of these people (okay, he is on Sessions; the guy’s both a tool and a fool). All he’s saying is that all of them are denizens, and many of them long-time denizens, of the very swamp Trump said he was going to drain.

Drain the swamp? Sounds more like recycling the polluted water in the swamp.

We’ve grown accustomed to our politicians breaking their promises, but the speed with which Trump appears to be breaking his is downright breath-taking.

It almost seems as if he was…insincere when he made them in the first place.

 

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