Roger Kimball has a very nice article on the Wall Funding / Government Shutdown intersection. Remembering the G H W Bush, Read My Lips fail is very instructive. This is could be a decisive moment in the Trump presidency.
The Wall is Trump’s ‘Read My Lips’ Moment
Shutting down the government over Christmas is an iconic move. Let’s see who blinks.
Back in the Paleolithic era, say 1988, when George H.W. Bush was the heir apparent to Ronald Reagan, much was made of how during his apprenticeship under the Gipper that Bush had shed all of his Rockefeller Republican leanings. He famously decried Michael Dukakis’s membership in the ACLU and his links with the Liberal Boutique Ideologies of Cambridge. And of course, there was his full-throated exhortation to read his lips, “NO NEW TAXES!!!” Well, we know how that turned out. George’s New World Order, tax increases and NAFTA initiatives gave rise to Ross Perot which in turn gave rise to Bill Clinton. And we know how well that worked out for us.
Fast forward, let’s say to 2024. We are entering the victory lap of the God-Emperor’s reign here on earth. All’s right with the world. The new republicans have a supermajority in the Senate and House, Unemployment stands at negative 1%. Transgenderism has been proven to be a curable mental condition, women are leaving the work force in droves to return to the home to raise kids and regain their sanity. The Clintons and the Obamas have all been assigned multi-decade jail sentences that none are predicted to outlive. It’s the best of all possible worlds.
But now the successor to the God-Emperor must be selected. And while everyone agrees that Mike Pence is a heck of a nice guy, everybody remembers how he backed down when George Stephanopoulos questioned him about the Defense of Faith act he signed into law in Indiana. Is this the Bush scenario being replayed? Are we about to see another Bill Clinton moment?
Now, this may be a slight exaggeration. Mike Pence is not a Bush. He is an actual conservative. But also, he’s no Trump. So, a better formulation of this question is how do you end up with another Trump? Having a combative, unabashed alpha male at the head of the right wing has been a genuine pleasure. Starting from a position of strength has proven to be an unalloyed advantage. Not having to cede territory to our opponents in the Democrat party or the Media every time they throw up a smoke screen about race or gender has meant that we can actually gain ground on many different initiatives. All in all, it’s just unacceptable to imagine us going back to a dweeby loser for Commander in Chief. We want General George Patton in charge not Pee Wee Herman.
And then it hit me. Let Trump choose his successor. Now sure, he picked Mike Pence for running mate but he was choosing from the small subset of republican political figures. And selection time was short. Neither of these factors is currently important. So, he can cast a wider net this time. And he has time. At least a few years. So, what I thought up was a reboot of the Apprentice. Let Donald Trump use his own intuition and methods to sort through all the candidates in America to find another him. And since he’s done it before for something lesser he can apply this experience to doing a better job for the more important version. And he should have it televised. And the home audience should get to give feedback. But only registered Republicans who donate money to the party. The ratings would be through the roof. And Mike Pence should definitely be in the running. I mean, he’s not such a bad guy and maybe he actually has learned more than a Bush.