Derbyshire’s verdict on Trump’s presidency: Epic. FAIL.
What’s the verdict on that Presidency? My view: it has to be failure.
It’s not that Trump did nothing in those four years. He accomplished a great deal. The evangelist group Liberty Counsel has published a list covering fourteen pages. It’s naturally tilted towards evangelistic concerns, and is too heavy on neoconnery for my taste—”Restoring American Leadership Abroad,” etc.—but there are some real useful actions in there.
The problem with those fourteen pages of Trump’s accomplishments is that hardly any of them had permanence. All the ones you’d stand up and cheer for were Executive Orders, that can be—and are being—revoked with a sweep of the pen by the new Chief Executive.
Biden, of course, has the advantage here that nothing he does will be contested by the Kritarchs of our woke federal judiciary. Trump had only to pick up his pen in the Oval Office for some swivel-eyed federal judge in Hawaii or somewhere to pick up his pen and declare Trump’s action unconstitutional just by virtue of it’s being … Trump’s.
That doesn’t let Trump altogether off the hook, though. To make changes you need laws, supplemented by the firm exercise of lawful federal powers.
In those areas Trump was hopeless. His party controlled Congress for two years, but the only law anyone remembers getting passed was a mild tax cut.
I give Trump a pass on that; his own party proved to be a real viper’s nest of slithering, double-dealing belly-crawlers, which could maybe cramp a guy’s style just a wee mite.
As well as just not getting much done in any permanent way, Trump failed to tackle the Swamp in any way that seriously inconvenienced them.
If we are ever again to have Trumpism in the White House, it will need a cadre of Trumpists who know their way around, who are adept at the necessary political games. The last four years were an ideal opportunity to train up that cadre: to bring Trumpists in to the federal government at high levels so they could develop their skills.
But Trump didn’t attempt anything like that. The people he brought in were Swamp critters like Kirstjen Nielsen and—God help us!—John Bolton. He supplemented their advice with soft murmurings from his daughter and son-in-law and their friends, metropolitan liberals all.
Now THAT, I cannot dispute. It’s beyond comprehension: after having made much throughout the campaign of his intention to hire only “the best people” to work in his government, he then…did nothing of the sort. The complete opposite, in fact. Again and again, Trump put Obama stay-behinds, Deep State saboteurs, and out-and-out diehard enemies on his team. Even worse, after having been flamboyantly betrayed by them, he left this wrecking crew in place to double down on the damage.
Think of it: he waited until his last few days in office to finally fire skulkabout CIA head Gina Haspel on his way out the White House door. Nefarious Swamp Thing Chris Wray—who flouted ethics, propriety, and even the law to brazenly defy an explicit directive to declassify documents that would almost certainly have been of tremendous help months ago, when Trump ordered it—remains in his well-feathered nest atop the FBI, and will be carrying the torch of systemic corruption and malfeasance to light the way for Pretend pResident Bai-Ding. Instead of getting his incompetent ass 86’d for cause months and months ago as he should have, “Doctor” FrankenFauci is headed for a cozy new sinecure with his WHO co-conspirators. The blithering boob didn’t get the boot; he got a promotion.
There’s a disgustingly long list of traitors, weasels, and snakes-in-the-grass who will still be in Mordor on the Potomac, depositing those obscenely-bloated FederalGovCo paychecks long after Trump himself has been deposited into a Federal penitentiary for the duration. He could have legitimately shown every last one of the conniving assholes the door. He had the authority; he had the right; he had not A reason, but reasonS, plural. A whacking great boatload of ’em. Hell, he said he would do it, explicitly and repeatedly. Promised he would.
Yet, inexplicably, he stayed his hand. Why?
We aren’t talking about mere mistakes here; they were far more than just questionable decisions. Not just a minor misstep here and there, the harsh lesson absorbed, leaving Trump a wiser, better leader for the education. They were grotesque demonstrations of seriously poor judgment bordering on pathologically self-destructive acts, a pattern of foolish consistency entirely outside the reach of logical explication.
Unfortunately, these aren’t the kind of mistakes that one can easily avoid paying a price for having made. They’re extremely costly. Whatever the reason for it, Trump has put himself and his family on the hook for a YUUUGE bill. And the collection agency is widely known for being absolutely ruthless, uncompromising, and impatient.