Monday, January 23, 2017

"Demwit" Seats Should Have Been Given To Wounded Warriors of All Branches. Trump Family Makes America Beautiful Again! Palestinian Corruption. The Speech!

This was a great idea.  Sent to me by a retired General and fellow memo reader: "Probably too late to act but I suggest all of those 'Demwit's' vacant chairs in the VIP section be given  to Wounded Warriors from all branches of service. 

What a great statement that would make if the press would cover it....I doubt they would."
Back from Detroit, thus a day late and a dollar short but thought these still worth posting. (See 1 and 1a below)

When asked what he thinks about General Mattis being considered for 

Secretary of Defense, Rob O’Neill (the man who killed Bin  Laden) said

“General Mattis has a bear rug in his home, but it's not dead - it's just afraid to move”.
We have attended only one Presidential Inauguration. It was Bush 41's and I  was then on his national finance committee and we thought it would be fun to go.  We had access to good seats and tickets and froze our behinds off, attended one ball, I got dissed by  Joan Rivers' seeking her autograph for a dear Atlanta friend and we came home.  The parade, the bands the hoopla were inspiring but the weather was miserable. We were sitting outside freezing next to the glass enclosed section in front of The White House where the entire Bush family was enshrined so we could watch them but it would take the swearing in of a family member to get me to another.

Not likely to happen.

At the very least The entire Trump Family makes America Beautiful again.  That is a refreshing thought.
Look the other way or get killed.  

And our tax dollars go to support this corruption. There are swamps all over the world we support, not just in D.C.  This is what is criminal. (See 2 below.)
This is a court not an editorial and cites good law .
The Obama aftermath. (See 3 below.)
The baby naming of our first great grandchild went without a hitch. She slept through the entire ceremony so will learn her name at a later date.
I caught Trump's Inaugural Speech in the car driving to Atlanta where we left from and am posting Peggy Noonan's review which I believed captured the essence of what he had to say, meant to say and did say. (See 4 below.)

There is little I can add except I am trying to get Peggy Noonan to be next year's SIRC President's Day Speaker

Trump is not the most articulate but he sent a missile with two war heads.  One was aimed at those who are, in his mind, the establishment and who have enriched themselves at the cost of those they were meant to serve. The other trageted missile was directed at the deplorables and was meant to assure them he would follow through on his commitments.

His often brash and unrehearsed, and even not fully thought through comments, often result in some back pedaling which is not healthy but that is Trump.  So his address was blunt, it was in your face, it was, as some said, muscular and portrayed a somber message because, in Trump's eyes, there's a lot of "fixin" that needs undertaking.

To the extent he repeated what he said during the campaign that should be comforting to those who voted for him. He intends to return more of  government and its allegiance back to the people whom government bureaucrats should serve.

Trump took on both Republicans and Democrats in pledging he would do his utmost to put the nation back on track.

Let the good times roll as Schumer and his followers seeks to stiff Trump and Republicans, hopefully, restrain themselves from fighting with each other and climb aboard.
1)The Sullen Leftists
Allan Meltzer is a distinguished visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution and the Allan H. Meltzer University Professor of Political Economy at the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University. He has been a visiting professor at Harvard, the University of Chicago, the University of Rochester…
Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Democratic leaders had many explanations for why the Party lost in the 2016 presidential and Congressional elections last month. Some blamed campaign mistakes, like not spending enough time in Wisconsin. Hillary Clinton blamed FBI chair James Comey for reopening her email problems. Certain members of the media blamed those who do not share their views—the people whom Clinton called “deplorables.”

And some blamed the rise of “nationalism,” which, they said, propelled Trump to victory. These critics are mostly sullen and fail to distinguish between a narrow nationalism that leads to isolationism from a broader nationalism that seeks to put America and its citizens first. Trump’s intention to “put America first” may mean that his administration will negotiate foreign agreements that better secure America’s interests than those negotiated by the Obama administration, such as the the Iran nuclear treaty. Time will tell us more about what the new president means.

There are always many reasons for electoral victory or defeat. No one reason ever explains why each person voted the way he or she did. Nevertheless there was an overriding theme to the Trump campaign—Trump promised to empower ordinary individuals with his policies. And the fact that leading Democrats and their allies in the media do not mention this in their post-election commentary reinforces my belief that they are blind to the division their policies and actions have wrought. By concentrating their sullen ire at President-elect Trump, they ignore the fact that their party was totally rejected at the ballot box. Specifically, voters throughout the country rejected the left’s arrogant statist efforts to control their lives.
What progressives have failed to understand is the importance voters place on having government decisions reflect voter opinions. For years, both parties have acted as if they know what is right and best for everyone, and the Democrats are especially guilty of this sin. They regulated the way authoritarian governments do. Voters tried to force change in 2010 and again in 2014, but they were unsuccessful. The regulatory state remained intact and government continued to exert its control over the lives of citizens. Donald Trump heard the public’s complaints. Now he must show that he can restore popular sovereignty.
Trump’s message is as old as the American Revolution. America separated from Britain because the American revolutionaries wanted to make their own laws instead of having laws made by the British parliament. The system they created called for popular sovereignty. It was an experiment. Voters elected the members of Congress who made the laws subject to voter approval in an election of representatives every two years.

Nearly a hundred years after the American Revolution, Lincoln articulated the same theme in his magisterial Gettysburg Address. Lincoln expressed his hope that government of the people, by the people, and for the people would remain the guiding principle of this nation. But today’s voters know that this ideal is a far cry from the reality on the ground. 

In today’s political scene, Congress avoids making laws. Most rules are made by administrative agencies staffed by unelected presidential appointees. Despite the Constitution’s Article 1, Section 1, which gives Congress and only Congress the right to pass laws, the Supreme Court permitted the administrative agencies to approve rules by decreeing that they are not technically laws, even though they are enforceableand voters do not see a difference.. 

The Trump voters may not fully understand how they lost sovereignty but they want the Trump administration to restore their influence over the laws and rules that govern them. That requires action by Congress to restore its role as a co-equal branch of government. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan recognizes that Congress must take responsibility for passing laws. The Trump administration should repeal most of the regulations issued by the Obama administration. By appointing a Supreme Court justice, the new administration can uphold the several lower court decisions rejecting several of these regulations.
Trump’s critics do not understand the message that this election sent to them. They do not accept the voters’ decisions. At a time when stock markets showed large daily gains and public support for President-elect Trump reached new highs, establishment apologists and cheerleaders for Hillary Clinton, including economists Nouriel Roubini and Joseph Stiglitz, wrote a joint column  declaring: “ . . . emotions are running high . . . alternating between fear, resignation, black humor, and desperation for any ray of hope. . . .” And they added, “Fear is growing day by day at home and abroad.”

The complaints begin with the claim that Trump has never served in government and has no political experience. Wasn’t inexperience the charge in 1980 against President Reagan? He was called a cowboy who would mishandle delicate foreign affairs. Instead, he brought new ideas that ultimately ended the Cold War and freed millions from tyranny. President Obama, likewise, came into office with promises of hope but no previous experience negotiating any major or minor political agreements.

Many voters were attracted by Trump’s promise to “put America first.” Critics see that slogan as an endorsement of the worst kind of nationalism. The Cuban agreement that President Obama signed does not require an end to the police state or any other major concession.

Candidate Trump criticized trade agreements like NAFTA and the Trans-Pacific Partnership. I agree with those who claim his criticisms are mistaken. Trade agreements have reduced trade barriers with benefits to all parties. What has happened in the last twenty years is that workers in the firms that closed did not get retrained for other jobs. For years, our government has initiated or supported many retraining programs that were failures. The main benefits of these government retraining programs went to the people who operated them. As Germany has shown, the better approach is for people to develop skills as electricians, plumbers, and the like. And some of the best training is on-the-job training that teaches skills that are in demand.
Critics do not offer alternatives. They fixate on the possibility of a trade war, especially with China. They ignore what Trump’s long experience with negotiation has surely taught him: to start by reopening the agreements, offering changes, and requiring changes in return. One of the new president’s skills is judging people. He ran companies successfully in several industries by hiring managers who had skills and knowledge that he did not have when he joined the industry. That skill in judging people is not limited to industry. He showed it when he chose Governor Pence as his Vice President, and again when he moved him into control of the transition process. He displayed that skill yet again when he chose Reince Priebus as White House Chief of Staff.

Like all new presidents, President Trump should have the opportunity to start his tenure free of the sustained hostility of the mainstream media that he has met in his first weeks as President-Elect. Valid criticisms will follow when he makes mistakes, as he surely will. By continuing street demonstrations, making false claims, and refusing to accept the election outcome, progressives reinforce the conviction that they are authoritarian and anti-democratic, that their positions are the only correct ones, and that the rest of us are deplorable. The establishment critics should accept that voters here and elsewhere want the sovereign right to control the rules.


Obama’s self-revealing final act

Barack Obama did not go out quietly. His unquiet final acts were, in part, overshadowed by a successor who refused to come in quietly and, in part, by Obama’s own endless, sentimental farewell tour. But there was nothing nostalgic or sentimental about Obama’s last acts. Two of them were simply shocking.

Perhaps we should have known. At the 2015 White House correspondents’ dinner, he joked about whether he had a bucket list: “Well, I have something that rhymes with bucket list.”

Turns out, he wasn’t kidding. Commuting the sentence of Chelsea Manning, one of the great traitors of our time, is finger-in-the-eye willfulness. Obama took 28 years off the sentence of a soldier who stole and then released through WikiLeaks almost half a million military reports plus a quarter-million State Department documents.
The cables were embarrassing; the military secrets were almost certainly deadly. They jeopardized the lives not just of American soldiers on two active fronts — Iraq and Afghanistan — but of locals who were, at great peril, secretly aiding and abetting us. After Manning’s documents release, the Taliban “went on a killing spree” (according to intelligence sources quoted by Fox News) of those who fit the description of individuals working with the United States.

Moreover, we will be involved in many shadowy conflicts throughout the world. Locals will have to choose between us and our enemies. Would you choose a side that is so forgiving of a leaker who betrays her country — and you?

President Obama said he felt comfortable commuting the sentence of Chelsea Manning, the former U.S. military intelligence analyst who was responsible for a 2010 leak of classified materials. (Reuters)

Even the word “leaker” is misleading. “Leak” makes it sound like a piece of information a whistleblower gives Woodward and Bernstein to expose misdeeds in high office. This was nothing of the sort. It was the indiscriminate dumping of a mountain of national security secrets certain to bring harm to American troops, allies and interests.

Obama considered Manning’s 35-year sentence excessive. On the contrary. It was lenient. Manning could have been — and in previous ages, might well have been — hanged for such treason. Now she walks after seven years.

What makes this commutation so spectacularly in-your-face is its hypocrisy. Here is a president who spent weeks banging the drums over the harm inflicted by WikiLeaks with its release of stolen materials and emails during the election campaign. He demanded a report immediately. He imposed sanctions on Russia. He preened about the sanctity of the American political process.

Over what? What exactly was released? A campaign chairman’s private emails and Democratic National Committee chatter, i.e., campaign gossip, backbiting, indiscretions and cynicism. The usual stuff, embarrassing but not dangerous. No national security secrets, no classified material, no exposure of anyone to harm, just to ridicule and opprobrium.

The other last-minute Obama bombshell occurred four weeks earlier when, for the first time in nearly a half-century, the United States abandoned Israel on a crucial Security Council resolution, allowing the passage of a condemnation that will plague both Israel and its citizens for years to come. After eight years of reassurance, Obama seized the chance — free of political accountability for himself and his potential Democratic successor — to do permanent damage to Israel. (The U.S. has no power to reverse the Security Council resolution.)
Daniel Patrick Moynihan, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N. who went on to be a great Democratic senator, once argued passionately that in the anti-American, anti-democratic swamp of the U.N., America should act unwaveringly in opposition and never give in to the jackals. Obama joined the jackals.

Why? To curry favor with the international left? After all, Obama leaves office as a relatively young man of 55. His next chapter could very well be as a leader on the international stage, perhaps at the U.N. (secretary-general?) or some transnational (ostensibly) human rights organization. What better demonstration of bona fides than a gratuitous attack on Israel? Or the about-face on Manning and WikiLeaks? Or the freeing of a still unrepentant Puerto Rican terrorist, Oscar Lopez Rivera, also pulled off with three days remaining in his presidency                                                                                                         

For the first time in 36 years, the U.N. Security Council passed a resolution critical of Israel's Jewish settlements on Palestinian territory. The United States abstained. (Reuters)

A more likely explanation, however, is that these are acts not of calculation but of authenticity. This is Obama being Obama. He leaves office as he came in: a man of the left, but possessing the intelligence and discipline to suppress his more radical instincts. As of Nov. 9, 2016, suppression was no longer necessary.
We’ve just gotten a glimpse of his real self. From now on, we shall see much more of it.

2) Palestinian journalists frustrated with inability to cover PA corruption

Palestinian journalists in the West Bank and Gaza Strip are closely following the unfolding case of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu allegedly receiving favors or gifts. Their interest is not prompted only by glee at the possible downfall of the Israeli leader they despise, but also by appreciation and envy of Israeli democracy and press freedom that enable the questioning of the prime minister under caution and the investigative reporting against him by the media.

No journalists in Gaza — no matter how senior — would even think of criticizing the leaders of Hamas, and in the Palestinian Authority (PA), criticism of any kind against President Mahmoud Abbas, or exposure of corruption in the PA, could result in the journalist’s arrest.

“We all known there’s terrible corruption in the PA,” a senior veteran journalist from Ramallah, the seat of the PA in the West Bank, told Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity. “We know hundreds of stories about senior PA officials and about Abbas’ sons, but we can’t publish them or even talk openly about them.”
According to various reports, the PA has for years been plagued by corruption. The governmental structure put in place by the late Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) leader Yasser Arafat did not include control and supervision mechanisms. Every Palestinian in the West Bank and Gaza knows full well that those closest to the seat of power often enjoy a lifestyle incompatible with the salary of a PA official.
“We saw PLO activists who arrived [in the West Bank and Gaza] from Libya and Tunisia [in the 1990s] with only the clothes on their backs, and a few months after the PA was established they were already driving around in Mercedes cars, wearing Italian suits and building ostentatious villas,” the journalist claimed. “To this day they are all rich, taken care of and no one can say a word or even ask where such wealth came from.”
European Union states that donate hundreds of millions of dollars in humanitarian aid to the PA have tried to establish supervisory mechanisms over the funds they provide, but according to Palestinian journalists who spoke with Al-Monitor, the top PA levels were more devious than all the oversight mechanisms, and they found loopholes through which to funnel some of the money into their own pockets.
The criticism discussed behind closed doors does not relate only to past malfeasance. A senior journalist who works for an Arabic language media outlet notes in a conversation with Al-Monitor that the sons of the Palestinian president are also mentioned among those making a fortune out of their family connection to Abbas.
Tareq Abbas, for example, is the director of a company that in the past employed Mohammed Rashid, a close confidant of Arafat and his moneyman, who was subsequently convicted by a Ramallah court of stealing millions of dollars from a Palestinian investment fund and from the PLO coffers, and transferring the money to bank accounts in various places around the world. Since the “cleaning of the stables” after Arafat’s death in 2004, Abbas's son Tareq has been serving as a director in the Palestinian investment fund that manages hundreds of millions of dollars, so that his father has almost complete control over the fund without anyone in the PA being allowed to express opposition or question its management. In 2012, Foreign Policy ran a story about the fortunes of Abbas’ sons in which the investigative reporters wondered whether there was any connection between the wealth they were accumulating and their family connection.
“We know the answer,” a Palestinian journalist told Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity. “Everyone knows that Tareq and Yasser Abbas immediately win every bid they put in, whether directly or through straw men.”
The journalist said that reporters have learned not to ask “unnecessary” questions, lest they lose their jobs, at best, or are sent to jail in a worst-case scenario. The media learned the limits of what was permissible and what was not in the affair of Mahmad Hadifa, an independent journalist who published a series of investigative reports about the goings on in the Palestinian Ministry of Economy in Ramallah. Hadifa was arrested by Palestinian security forces after the stories ran and was threatened, even though no one claimed his reports were false. On the contrary, he touched on issues troubling Palestinians in the West Bank and exposed irregularities in the most important economic office in the PA.
“Sometimes you can see criticism against Abbas’ sons or senior PA officials on social media,” another journalist told Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity. “But never in a way that might disclose the identity of the writer. Usually the critics are cautious and they ask rhetorical questions, but everyone knows what they mean.”
Only few such investigative reports were published — for instance investigative stories about corruption in the PA were published by Reuters and The Associated Press. The Palestinian researchers and reporters who helped to compile these stories were not named. In 2009, Reuters reported that firms run by Abbas' sons won US government aid contracts to repair roads in the Palestinian territories, and AP published leaked documents in 2015 allegedly exposing corruption by senior PA officials.
None of the people mentioned in the reporting were questioned or lost their jobs; coverage of the reported affairs in the Palestinian media was limited on orders from high up.
Many Palestinians who have been exposed to Israeli reporting about the investigations into Netanyahu’s alleged wrongdoing — which play prominently in the Palestinian media — are asking whether receiving gifts such as cigars and champagne constitute sufficient cause for his indictment, conviction and resignation. Some of the journalists with whom I spoke claim that receiving gifts is standard practice in the PA and is not considered a criminal offense.
“If we were able to talk about each and every present, and this were to result in an investigation and conviction,” said a senior journalist in the PA on condition of anonymity, “we wouldn’t have a functioning Palestinian Authority because everyone would already be in jail.”
3) What Has Obama Done to Us, and How Was He Able to Do It?

Now that his time as president has come to an end, it’s time to ask what Barack Obama has done to the country, and how he has been able to do it.

Obama is the most left-wing president in American history. Never mind his speech at the 2004 Democrat National Nomination Convention, or during the run-up to the 2008 election, when he was presenting himself as a moderate.
Someone scrutinizing Obama’s history, including his early years in and out of the U.S., his time in school, his stint as a Chicago community organizer, his law school experiences, and his political career as an Illinois state senator and a U.S. senator, should have recognized him for what he is: a radical leftist, steeped in Marxism, contemptuous of America’s Constitution, hostile to traditional values, and committed to Alinskyite notions of social justice.
It’s stupefying to realize how little the Mainstream Media (MSM) vetted him before January 20 2009. Perhaps it is therefore understandable that some who could not, or would not, recognize Obama for what he was believed he was some kind of moderate capable of uniting the nation along post-partisan and post-racial lines.

Obama’s term as chief executive has been disastrous for the U.S. in terms of both domestic and foreign affairs. There is no need to reprise the litany of Obama’s deleterious policies. If one wants a partial glimpse of the damage Obama and his minions have done to our domestic institutions, read Yuval Levin’s article in the December 2016 issue of Commentary. His disastrous cuts to America’s military, and his commutation of “Chelsea” Manning’s sentence show how little he cares about U.S. national security.

These terrible developments stem from his successes in fundamentally transforming the country.

One hopes that Donald Trump’s presidency, along with GOP control of both houses of Congress, and perhaps even a future Supreme Court majority leaning rightward, will be able to offset the myriad damages the Obamians have inflicted in the last eight years. But if history teaches us anything, it is that once a nation has been fundamentally transformed, it’s very difficult to set it aright. Study, for example, the history of Rome from the Republic’s demise to the first decades of the Julio-Claudian dynasty, or that of Germany from the advent of Kaiser Wilhelm II to the end of the Hitler regime in 1945.  

Yuval Levin’s article in Commentary also indicates that Trump may exacerbate damages already done by Obama. John Daniel Davidson wrote in The Federalist (January 9 2017) that Trump’s presidency is already inducing some Republicans to “love big government more.”

It would be one thing if the damage done by Obama and his tong were strictly a matter of the accidental takeover of Washington by progressive elites in 2009. Were that the case, come January 20 2017 things could readily be set aright.

Alas, there’s the rub.

The sad truth is that millions of ordinary Americans now vote to support left-wing candidates and the Democrat Party. From Bill Clinton in 1992 and 1996, to Obama in 2008 and 2012, and the Red Queen in 2016, leftists have drawn enough votes either to win the presidency, or to come perilously close to doing so. Leftists -- some, such as the Black Caucus because of race, others, such as Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, Dick Durbin, Patrick Leahy, etc. out of some kind of ideological conviction -- occupy seats in Congress. Those types also draw substantial popular support.

It is small consolation to note that large slices of voters who back leftists live on the east and west coasts, in big cities, or work in government or the educational establishment. Like it or not, their votes count the same as people in small towns, rural areas, and/or flyover country.

If we are to prevent a future left-wing inspired fundamental transformation of America, as well as to begin dismantling what’s already been done, we must understand why these people -- we already know who they are -- are inclined to back leftist candidates and the Democrat Party.

Undoubtedly, one reason why so many people vote left is because, for this or that reason, they are dependent upon some sort of government largesse. As Mitt Romney noted in 2012, 47% of the American populace receive some kind of government benefit, and are therefore unlikely to react favorably to the prospect of that beneficence being curtailed or eliminated. After four more years of Obamaism, that percentage may actually be higher. Republicans will find it hard to wean people from the government benefits bestowed during Obama’s presidency.

Okay, start dismantling as much government largesse as possible. One assumes that is what some of the “swamp draining” notion amounts to. Get government out of people lives, and, presumably, they’ll have less reason to vote for candidates and parties plumping for more big government.

But, even if it is possible, that will be only one step toward coping with Obama’s successes.
We must acknowledge that millions of people not in the ruling class vote left for reasons other than the expectation of a quid pro quo.

Some do so because of race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual preference, or whatever. Take 2016, as an example. No doubt some of those who voted for Hillary Clinton did so just because they wanted to see a woman elected president. Nothing one could say about the many flaws inherent in Mrs. Clinton’s character and background would keep those types from backing her.

The same was true in 2008 and 2012, when overwhelming percentages of African-Americans voted for Obama just because he identified as black.

Since Obama has further divided Americans into quarreling tribes, it’s unlikely that this pattern of voting behavior will change greatly in the near future. A candidate like Trump can substantially shift the particular tribes backing the major parties, but he’s not likely to be a uniter. He will more likely continue the pattern of America’s chief executive being a divider.

We must realize that there are also people -- such as Hollywood trendoids, denizens of the MSM, leftist teachers and professors and their brainwashed acolytes -- who want to see America’s proverbial nose rubbed in the muck. Who, for example, lauded Obama’s multiple apology tours during his presidency? Probably not many who read the American Thinker.

America’s haters have been around since at least the 1960s, and some even before then. Sadly, there has been a relatively small, but very influential, group of radicals who have rejected virtually every facet of American culture and politics for over half a century.

Granted, Obama leaves the Democrat Party in disarray. But parties have been in disarray before -- the GOP after Hoover and Goldwater, and the Democrats after McGovern and Carter -- but they come back. Today’s Democrats just have farther to go than parties in the past.

Obama’s real legacy is his damage to America, and, unless we find some way to peel portions of his backers away, there is a risk that another leftist could do it again.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++4) President Trump Declares Independence

His message to America: Remember those things I said in the campaign? I meant them. I meant it all.

By PeggyNoonan

I was more moved than I expected. Then more startled.
The old forms and traditions, the bands and bunting, endured. I thought, as I watched the inauguration: It continues. There were pomp and splendor, happy, cheering crowds; and for all the confounding nature of the past 18 months, and all the trauma, it came as a reassurance to see us do what we do the way we do it. A friend in the Southwest, a longtime Trump supporter, emailed just before the swearing in: “I have been crying all morning.” From joy.
I found myself unexpectedly moved during the White House meeting of the Trumps and the Obamas, at the moment Melania Trump emerged from her car. She was beautiful, seemed so shy and game. There are many ways to show your respect for people and events, and one is to present yourself with elegance and dignity.

The inaugural address was utterly and uncompromisingly Trumpian. The man who ran is the man who’ll reign. It was plain, unfancy and blunt to the point of blistering. A little humility would have gone a long way, but that’s not the path he took. Nor did he attempt to reassure. It was pow, right in the face. Most important, he did not in any way align himself with the proud Democrats and Republicans arrayed around him. He looked out at the crowd and said he was allied with them.
He presented himself not as a Republican or a conservative but as a populist independent. The essential message: Remember those things I said in the campaign? I meant them. I meant it all.
The address was bold in its assertion of the distance in America between the leaders and the led: “For too long, a small group in our nation’s capital has reaped the rewards of government while the people have borne the cost. Washington flourished—but the people did not share in its wealth. Politicians prospered—but the jobs left, and the factories closed. The establishment protected itself but not the citizens of our country.”
It was an unmistakable indictment of almost everyone seated with him on the platform.
Then a stark vow: “That all changes—starting right here and right now.” Jan. 20 “will be remembered as the day the people became the rulers of this nation again.”
And these words were most remarkable, not because they were new, but because he didn’t back away from them, he repeated them in an improvisation: “From this day forward it’s going to be only America first—America first.” To American workers and families: “You will never be ignored again.”
The speech will electrify President Trump’s followers. They will feel satisfaction that they understood him and knew what they were backing. And it will deepen the Washington establishment’s unease. Republican leaders had been hoping the address would ameliorate their anxieties about the continued primacy of their traditional policy preferences. Forget that. This was a declaration that the president is going his own way and they’d best follow.
Throughout the speech, and much of the day, Mr. Trump looked stern. At first I thought it was the face he puts on when he’s nervous. I don’t think so now.
Anyway, it was a remarkable speech, like none before it, and it marked, I think, yet another break point in the two-party reality that has dominated our politics for many decades.
And so, now, it begins. And it simply has to be repeated: We have never had a political moment like this in our lives. We have never had a president like this, such a norm-breaker, in all the ways we know. We are in uncharted seas.
His supporters, who flooded Washington this week, were friendly, courteous—but watchful. Two Midwestern women told me separately that they used to be but no longer are Republican. They’re something new, waiting for a name.
They like Mr. Trump the way you learn to like someone you hired and will depend on. They judged him as exactly what’s needed to cut through the merde machine of modern Washington. He is a destabilizer; he shifts the tectonic plates; in the chaos that results, breakthroughs are possible.
And yet all admit that yes, we’re in uncharted waters.
The mood among Republicans in Washington is hopeful apprehension. Even Trump supporters, even his staff and advisers, feel it. No one knows what he’ll be like as president, how this will go. Including, probably, him. A GOP senator characterized his mood as “tentatively positive.” Another said, with a big grin: “I feel somewhat optimistic!”
We’ll find out a lot the next few months. How will Mr. Trump work with Congress, and what are his specific legislative priorities? How important will the cabinet be? Will the Trumps really live in the White House or just stay and do events a few days a week? Will they come to own the physical space, the psychic space, of the executive mansion and the presidency? Will they give Camp David—those rustic cabins that are a glass, brass and marble-free zone—a chance?
The big embassies this week gave receptions to celebrate the inauguration, and invited official Washington. Ambassadors made friendly speeches about their countries’ long, deep and unchanging ties to America. They approached the big change with sangfroid, even jolliness. But Washington still doesn’t know what to make of this thing America did.
At the Kuwaiti Embassy I looked out at hundreds of Washingtonians of both parties—diplomats, lobbyists, military brass, journalists—all networking, meeting, greeting, all handsomely dressed. As I surveyed the scene I turned to a social figure of 40 years’ standing. “Do they have any sense they’re living through big history?” I asked. “Noooooo!” she said. The look on her face—if it had been the late 19th century she would have said, “Pshaw!” History is not what they’re about, she was suggesting; satisfying their personal and immediate hungers is what they’re about.
The Trump Wars of the past 18 months do not now go away. Now it becomes the Trump Civil War, every day, with Democrats trying to get rid of him and half the country pushing back. To reduce it to the essentials: As long as Mr. Trump’s party holds the House, it will be a standoff. If the Democrats take the House, they will move to oust him.
Because we are divided. We are two nations, maybe more.
Normally a new president has someone backing him up, someone publicly behind him. Mr. Obama had the mainstream media—the big broadcast networks, big newspapers, activists and intellectuals, pundits and columnists of the left—the whole shebang. He had a unified, passionate party. Mr. Trump in comparison has almost nothing. The mainstream legacy media oppose him, even hate him, and will not let up. The columnists, thinkers and magazines of the right were mostly NeverTrump; some came reluctantly to support him. His party is split or splitting. The new president has gradations of sympathy, respect or support from exactly one cable news channel, and some websites.
He really has no one but those who voted for him.
Do they understand what a lift daily governance is going to be, and how long the odds are, with so much arrayed against him, and them?

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