Diary

Trump's Cabinet Picks: Where Will Democrats Expend Political Capital?

Leaving aside the fact that Trump won an election he, by all accounts, had no “chance” winning, thus far this writer is left with the impression that Trump is shrewd when it comes to his cabinet picks. With the cabinet largely filled, let’s just look at some of the picks and how they either by design or accident have set cannibalism on course within the ranks of the Left and, by proxy, the Democratic Party.

The national security team is thick on former generals which has disturbed some on the Left.  Juan Williams, on a recent edition of Fox’s The Five, stated he did not want to be ruled by a “military junta.”  Considering that the Defense and Homeland Security Secretaries report to a President with no military experience, invocation of the specter of a “military junta” is somewhat over-the-top.  In fact, it makes perfect sense to appoint former military leaders to departments designed to keep Americans safe.  On that same show, it was Greg Gutfeld who correctly noted that former military leaders are perhaps more pacifist than the card-carrying pacifists on the Left since they have seen the horror of wars.  Regardless, if one is to shift the war on terror from one of a law-enforcement model to a military model, then the choices make sense.

But, let’s look at just three other picks thus far- Education Secretary Betsy De Vos, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and EPA administrator Scott Pruitt.  De Vos is known as a school choice advocate which flies in the face of everything the NEA/AFT stands for in education.  Jeff Sessions, one supposes because he hails from Alabama, is a closet racist hell-bent on rolling back 50 years of civil rights legislation where Jim Crow will once again reign over 50 states this time, not just the South.  Pruitt is opposed by every environmental group out there and being described as a “climate denier” and ushering in the end of civilization.

Most importantly, let’s look at the groups- not the Democratic Party- opposing these picks.  In the 2016 election cycle, according to Opensecrets.org, environmental groups donated over $95 million to the process of which over 96% of those funds went to Democrats.  Over 98% of donations from civil rights groups went to Democrats while the NEA chipped in over $24 million- all of it to Democratic candidates.

With “controversial” picks for key cabinet positions, the Democratic minority in the Senate can expend only so much political capital on any one appointee.  The question becomes which one they will likely spend the most capital on blocking.  Depending on how one looks at it, it is fortunate or unfortunate that Harry Reid implemented his so-called limited nuclear option and it takes only 51 Senators to confirm any pick.  The Democrats may prolong the process by gumming up the works with protracted hearings and floor debate, but these picks are going to be confirmed.

Given the number of controversial picks, the Democrats must “choose” which appointee represents the biggest risk to their agenda and worldview.  My guess is that donors will dictate that choice and it will be Scott Pruitt.  While they work on his nomination, the others will slide through the process and be confirmed sooner or later.  Pruitt will be confirmed after a contentious debate punctuated with over-the-top rhetoric from the Democratic Left.

In effect, these picks- all three of whom fly in the face of Leftist/Democratic orthodoxy not to mention sources of donations- have set the Democratic caucus on a pathway towards cannibalism.  If pundits think Paul Ryan has his job cut out for him given the Freedom Caucus in the House, then watching the environmental lobby pitted against the education lobby pitted against the civil rights lobby vying for the ear and support of the Minority Leadership in the Senate will make Ryan’s task look like a vacation.

And Trump is not even finished making picks.  If the Left thinks the choice of Pruitt at the EPA will usher in the death of civilization, then what does that make Rex Tillerson who is CEO of the largest fossil fuel company in the world?  The choice of Treasury Secretary- Steve Mnuchin- has ties to Hollywood, a bastion of the Left, as well as George Soros, about as Left as one can go.  Can one see Hollywood’s Leftist elite attacking one of their own- the man who brought you the X-Men Series, Avatar, American Sniper, and Mad Max while cavorting around with George Soros?

There is a method to the madness that is Donald Trump.  Whether it is by design or accident, the dynamics are interesting and somewhat amusing given Democratic and Leftist reactions.  One is left with the impression that despite his lack of political experience, Trump and company are playing a political game of pitting one Leftist group against another Leftist group during this process.  And if it is any indication, the Democratic Left will emerge weakened which may soften their opposition to the most important choice Trump will have to make after the inauguration- the replacement of Scalia on the Supreme Court.

Could it be that as Democrats drag out the confirmation of cabinet picks through obstruction tactics, Trump then diverts their attention with a controversial (to them) Supreme Court pick and the cabinet picks then skate into their positions?  Will he then throw the Democrats a bone and withdraw the SCOTUS pick after achieving his goal of having cabinet picks confirmed only to then throw up another, even more controversial Supreme Court nominee?

Whatever the motivation, Trump and his team are proving to be more vexing to the Left and the Democratic Party than most gave them credit for being.  This writer is left with the impression that thus far, Trump and his team are either accidental or by-design geniuses.

[NOTE: After publishing this, Trump announced that the new ambassador to Israel is a “pro-settlement” person “to the right of Netanyahu.” This will surely draw the ire from Leftist human rights groups, another key Democratic constituency. The intrigue continues and has the fingerprints of Steve Bannon.]