Steve Bannon’s non-job may have grabbed the headlines for the wrong reasons – the right headlines would remark on his huge demotion, as this blog has, and how upset the alt-right are about it.
But better than that, the alt-right are panicking, and conservatives are celebrating, Trump’s announcements of seasoned insiders to fill key positions.
The President-Elect has done some very good things – speaking as a passionate opponent of his during the election – and we should give him full credit for it.
First, he appointed Reince Priebus as Chief of Staff. That is a wonderful choice who will work tightly with Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell to drive a truly conservative agenda.
GOP leader @Reince on Trump/Ryan division: "I think it's all going to work out. … This is all going to come together."
— Tré Goins-Phillips (@tregp) May 5, 2016
Second, Mr. Trump has put some fantastic people on his transition team. Anthony Scaramucci, one of the nicest successes in finance (and as a Mets fan I may be biased) is the most exciting financial appointment since – well, since Alexander Hamilton. On the grounds that there have been no exciting financial appointments since Alexander Hamilton.
Mr. Scaramucci wrote a marvelous op-ed in the Financial Times today on his financial vision for America:
However, he is an empathetic person who recognises the pain of America’s middle class. Most importantly, he is not dogmatic about policy positions. Rather, he has set bold targets from which to begin negotiations.
Financial markets are responding positively to Mr Trump because he will tackle the key problems facing America: overregulation, a lack of fiscal policy, a messy tax code, unfair trade deals.
Mr. Scaramucci said that Mr. Trump would ensure NAFTA was adequately enforced, and that there were good free trade deals – reassuring many conservatives who were terrified Trump would nix free trade, as was his campaign rhetoric.
Mr Trump believes in free-but-fair trade. Tariffs are unnecessary if agreements like the World Trade Organization and NAFTA are adequately enforced.
Next, the President-Elect has reassured many in the Jewish community and friends of Israel by reportedly proposing Richard Grenell as UN Ambassador. Grenell is openly gay and a huge friend of Israel. This act would be a massive advance for human rights, forcing homophobic Arab countries to shake hands literally and physically with a gay, Jewish man who is a solid Republican who has served in the Bush administration.
The New York Post reports:
Grenell has been a critic of the Iran nuke deal and slammed the Obama administration, including then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, for failing to put Boko Haram on the terror list.
Grenell is pro-Israel.
“Rich Grenell has proven to be stridently pro-Israel,” said Arthur Schwartz, a strategist for Jewish American groups that back Israel.
Mr. Trump’s potential outreach to minority faith groups and the moderate wing of the GOP may continue with the RNC, where Gov. Mitt Romney’s niece, a Mormon, is apparently in the running. It would be big-hearted indeed of Mr. Trump to take such a Never Trump family to his heart and unite the Republican party. The New York Post speculates:
The possibility of McDaniel heading the RNC could be interpreted as an attempt by the president-elect to unify the party despite the hard-fought election.
Finally the President-Elect is said to be considering both Rudy Giuliani and heavyweight John Bolton as Secretary of State. Conservatives would be thrilled with the latter choice:
— John Maybury (@PacificaRiptide) November 14, 2016
In an editorial, National Review applauded the President-Elect’s potential choice:
Bolton has the advantage of being an experienced, straight-talking yet nuanced foreign-policy hand, who also fits the Trump sensibility on national security. Bolton is an American internationalist who believes in the importance of American power. He is a hard-headed realist whose focus is always the national interest. He negotiated the creation of the Proliferation Security Initiative, for instance, a global effort to counter illicit trafficking in weapons and materials of mass destruction. It was, and is, a diplomatic rarity—“an activity, not an organization,” as one U.K. diplomat put it. United Nations, take note. Bolton has been around the block—starting his career as a protégé of James A. Baker III—but has never become an establishmentarian or lost his edge. He would understand that he is the president’s emissary to the State Department, not the other way around, and avoid getting captured by Foggy Bottom’s bureaucrats the way, say, a Colin Powell did, or others with less experience likely would.
All in all, as a constitutional conservative I am incredibly reassured by the names floated so far, and fingers crossed our President-Elect continues to bring people together.