Since December 22nd I have been in a veritable cocoon of self-imposed isolation from the world. I have left the grounds only three times and only once for more than an hour. I have spent this time, for the most part, reveling in the blissful sloth of a long holiday vacation. I have eaten delicious and unhealthy food until it is coming out of my ears. I sat around and watched so many holiday and “classic” movies that I’m tempted to nominate Bing Crosby for sainthood. And, of course I read so much political news that I feel sure that Trump will give me the nod for Veterans Administration head just on the merits.
But now it’s time to emerge from my cocoon. Tomorrow (shudder!), I will make the commute back to the office and reconnect with the real world. I’m not sure what to expect. I know my desk will be covered with paperwork (actual and virtual) and it will be a week before I’m dug out. In fact, the beginning of the year is a sprint of deliverables and meetings that will keep me hopping for weeks. Good, the status quo is restored.
But it’s not. The impending Trump presidency hangs over everyone like some alien spacecraft hovering over a large city in a sci fi thriller. Either it’s going to be Independence Day and the hellfire is about to rain down or it’s Star Trek IV and we’re all gonna be bored by some sermon on saving the whales. But either way it’s up there and until we know which it will be it’s hard to pretend that finishing that power point presentation on quarterly highlights is the most important thing in the world.
Of course, we have to wait another two and a half weeks until this Obama joker gets finished trashing the government and golfing on our nickel. I doubt there’s a less welcome player on the world stage than BO. Not even his own party can stand him. But he’s determined to cause the maximum annoyance until they pull the curtain down on this clown. Lord, give me patience.
But regardless if you’re Ann Coulter or Rosie O’Donnell there’s no denying that Donald Trump is the biggest story and none of us know for sure exactly what he’ll do. Now, I’m firmly ensconced on the right periphery of the political spectrum. I hope that Trump starts off his administration with a rapid reversal of all Obama’s executive orders and moves on to appointing Torquemada to the Supreme Court and Genghis Khan to the Justice Department. Then they could take on a joint project of structuring a RICO prosecution that includes BLM and George Soros. But only someone who has been asleep for the last thirty years can be unaware of how badly reality can deviate from even the most reasonable forecasts.
In early 1992 no one could have seen GHW Bush losing to Bill Clinton. During the Gulf War his poll numbers were stratospheric. Equally improbable was GW Bush’s failure to reckon with the American people’s dissatisfaction with his interminable wars in the Mid-East. These were political blunders that led to Bill Clinton and Barack Obama respectively. What they should teach us is that the president can’t have a tin political ear. If you pull the levers of power and they cause pain to the people who vote, you’d better be able to convince them that it’s for something they want. So, there’s the question, is Trump more like Reagan or more like a Bush.
I’m actually pretty certain that Donald Trump is closer to the former than the latter. And that gives me hope. I can see him striking deals with even some democrats that will satisfy voters and boost consumer confidence. Of course, the flip-side of this would be, Trump moving so far to the left that he would be indistinguishable from Hillary Clinton. This I find unlikely. Based on the people he’s putting in place, I think he wants to make some big changes. His picks for Education, Energy and the EPA are affronts to the liberals. I can see how he intends to lighten the ship in those departments. Also his pick for Defense is a signal that fun and games are over for the Army.
All in all, I find myself quite optimistic about 2017. The best part of having a character like Donald Trump in the White House is that his famously thin skin should allow for some truly memorable Twitter rants against some of my least favorite people. Can you imagine him disinviting the Kennedys and the Clintons from some state affair and broadcasting it on social media? And my favorite Trump fantasy is the defunding of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Can you imagine the panic? All those completely talentless television and radio personalities vying to remain on the only viable shows (Sesame Street and other kids shows) or trying to find spots at the already beleaguered operations of the other networks. The beg-athons would have to become epic in scope and basically unending. Probably for the right size donation you could have Ken Burns as your butler for a couple of years (and a tote bag).
Another way that Trump will probably excel past presidents is press conferences. I’m trying to imagine how it won’t be entertaining and I just can’t. I’m guessing that some of the reporters will challenge him from the start and I’m guessing he’ll ban them from the White House. And if he doesn’t like the articles the White House beat reporters write I wouldn’t be surprised if he starts trolling the comments sections of the NYT and WP. The best will be when he gives exclusive interviews to Ann Coulter and Breitbart’s Milo Yiannopoulis. The rest of the media will rail against this favoritism and decry the softball questions (as if the Obama deference never happened). It will be fantastic.
And finally, I look forward to the photo op where he sets the cornerstone for the wall. That’s when I’ll know we’ve arrived.