You’d expect President-elect Donald Trump to have said imperiously, “I won,” as his response to the growing criticism of his initial appointments. “Bitch and moan all you want, but I’m the victor. Go bite yourself.”
And he’d be right to say that (in a more diplomatic way), but I haven’t heard him say it. Yet.
So, amidst all the gnashing of teeth over Hillary Clinton’s loss and Trump doing what he said he would do, I’d remind readers that it was President Barack Obama who, in the face of partisan criticism, ended the discussion with “I won.” (See Obama to GOP: “I won.”)
President Obama listened to Republican gripes about his stimulus package during a meeting with congressional leaders Friday morning - but he also left no doubt about who’s in charge of these negotiations. “I won,” Obama noted matter-of-factly, according to sources familiar with the conversation.
When it comes to high-handedness, perhaps progressives ought to examine the mote in their own eyes. I’d remind them that it was Obama who, frustrated by opposing congressional views blocking his far-left agenda, turned to autocratically issuing executive orders that bent the separation-of-powers provisions of the Constitution to his own will.
I didn’t vote for Trump and I don’t doubt that his nominations will be closely, if not excessively, scrutinized by opposition Democrats, some of them justifiable. But here’s a two-word reminder for progressives bent out of shape by the appointment of the hyper-partisan Steve Bannon, as Trump’s senior advisor: Valarie Jarret. Obama’s own senior advisor is the scion of the corrupt Chicago political machine and an avowed liberal. But how did the media cover her appointment by the ultra-liberal Obama?
The coverage was glowing. From the July 27, 2008 Chicago Tribune:
Technically her title is “senior adviser.” But Jarrett, the soft-spoken, steely willed, longtime Chicago powerbroker, has also been called the other side of Obama’s brain. At the very least, he says, she is his eyes and ears in meetings that he cannot attend.
“…a member of Chicago’s African American royalty…” And, “… linked to everyone important. She is part of an elite civic, social, business and political crowd whose lives criss-cross and often intersect at the University of Chicago, where Obama taught law between 1992 and his Senate election in 2004.” (Chicago Sun-Times)
Need I also mention other Chicago Way practitioners? Rahm (”Dead Fish) Emanuel as chief of staff, Chicago native John (”Email Schemer”) Podesta as transition chief, as well as David Axelrod and Desirée Rogers.
What these advisors wrought–especially Jarrett who turned out to be a mysterious kind of Rasputin rarely criticized by the media–by now is self-evident. But while Republicans criticized those Obama appointments, their disdain is but a hiccup to the soaring rhetoric of the Trump haters. At first, it was merely funny, the safety pin brigade and the campus incredulousness. Then the self-satisfying carping became masterbatory. (For examples of this , see this morning’s RealClearPolitics.Com: “I Take This Election Personally” by Nancy Gertner, Boston Globe; “Government by the Worst Men,” by Jamelle Bouie, Slate; “Trump’s Not-So-Blind Trust Fails Ethical Standards,” Boston Globe editorial, and “Jeff Sessions as Attorney General: An Insult to Justice,” New York Times editorial.)
But now the hysteria and slanders have become scary. Just how far will the mob mentality go in rejecting a U.S. president elected by the rules? I’ll leave it to your imagination. Trump shoulders some of the blame for creating this danger by refusing to say that he would accept the election’s outcome if he lost. Sure, his lawyers (them again) probably told him to say that in order to preserve any legal challenges that he might legitimately have made. But it was another one of Trump’s remarks that will make his governance more difficult.
Still, the “Never Trump” haters increasing appear to be as disturbing as the alleged racists, bigots and misogynists that Trump is appointing.
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