A largely unspoken reason why it’s so hard for Trump to drain the swamp: true “MAGA”/America First Trumpists cannot actually get confirmed by the Senate for cabinet-level posts.
To illustrate what I’m talking about, let’s consider James Mattis, the Secretary of Defense who is retiring in the near future due to his disagreement with President Trump over withdrawing US Troops from Syria.
As much as we all like Mattis the man, he’s a neocon at heart. Always has been.
This is why he’s leaving the administration. Because, like every other neocon, he disagrees with the President’s decision to withdraw from Syria and eventually Afghanistan.
First, however, I just want to say, it is very admirable of Mattis to simply resign due to his irreconcilable policy differences with the President. Most Uniparty/Establishment careerists would stay on and try to undermine and sabotage Trump from the inside, but Mattis is a man of character and integrity, so he is simply resigning. He’s not going to leak to the press to undermine Trump’s agenda, he won’t be insubordinate, he’s not going to write a tell-all book (at least I don’t think he will). And for that Mattis deserves a lot of credit, because subversion and sabotage seems to be the way many others in the administration operate. Mattis may disagree with Trump, but he’s not going to try to sabotage Trump’s agenda because of the disagreement the way so many delusional, power-loving Deep Staters would. Mattis doesn’t believe all dissent from neoconservatism is evil and unacceptable, and for that we should be thankful. He doesn’t see it as his patriotic duty to undermine Trump.
But going back to the original point: we all fell in love with the “Mad Dog” warrior monk persona of James Mattis when he was first nominated back in late 2016. It was awesome to have a badass Marine Corps General taking over the Pentagon.
We all just assumed Mattis was just like Trump: a based MAGA nationalist who wasn’t about any of that PC bullshit. And it was all because of the nickname “Mad Dog.”
However, what generally went unsaid was that Mattis was a neocon through and through for his whole career. And he still is today. Separate the man from his policies: he is not a Trumpist. He is a neocon who would have been more comfortable working under George W. Bush or even Obama (which he did).
Ask yourself this: why did Mattis sail through his Senate confirmation vote by a tally of 99-1? At the time we told ourselves it was because Mattis was Totally Awesome and Badass and Fuck Yeah, Bro. But the reality is that anyone, or anything, that passes the US Senate 99-1 should raise major red flags for us.
Again, I know we all love Mad Dog Mattis the man. But the dead giveaway of his true colors should have been the 99-1 Senate vote. That was a loud and clear message that Mattis was a friend of the Uniparty Establishment, we just didn’t want to hear it.
Mattis supported (and probably still supports) the Obama Iran Deal. Mattis is PC: he tried to “walk back” Trump’s decision to ban transgenders from the military, and his position on women in combat roles was basically a bunch of anxious public squirming, refusing to take a decisive position and ultimately just hoping to avoid the question.
(By the way: can we please quit believing this myth that all our military generals are cigar-chomping, hardass alpha males who espouse traditional values straight out of the 1950s? They’re not. Most of them are PC AF. The days of Douglas MacArthur and George Patton, and even Stormin’ Norman Schwarzkopf, are long gone. The Pentagon itself is very PC/“Diversity Is Our Strength”.)
Mattis is an Establishment Neocon. That’s why he passed the Senate 99-1. That vote was the Uniparty Establishment’s seal of approval above all else.
Why do you think Mattis has largely flown under the radar these past two years? Why do you think the media never attacks him and has never tried to get him fired? Because they’re fine with him. I’d wager they probably even see him as largely one of their own, however not to the extent of guys like Comey and Brennan and Admiral Bill McRaven, the last being so PC/Uniparty Establishment he recently said Trump “threatens the Constitution” by criticizing the media.
If our military generals truly were these macho 1950s badasses, they’d never say anything as pussy as that. A liberal cuck like McRaven could only rise to the top of a military that is fully part of the liberal PC Uniparty Establishment.
And that’s part of the larger point here: the talent pool of “qualified” candidates available to Trump to staff his administration with is full of people who not only don’t share his views but hate him so much that they see it as their patriotic duty to sabotage and destroy his administration from the inside.
It’s not as easy as Trump simply being able to pick anyone he wants. The problem is they have to be confirmed by the Senate, and the Senate is overwhelmingly controlled by the Uniparty Establishment.
It was easy for Obama: Obama was a PC neocon globalist member of the Uniparty Establishment, and so were all of his nominees and appointees—as well as most of the Senators voting to confirm them, and the “media” carefully controlling the public’s perception of them. (“Media” is in quotes because our media is not a media at all, it is the Uniparty’s propaganda organ.)
But with Trump, it’s totally different. He can’t pick someone who sees the world the way he does, because A. virtually all the qualified potential nominees in the talent pool came up under Bush and Obama and are thus not even close to being ideological allies of Trump, and B. even if Trump found a legitimate Trumpist to appoint, he could never get him confirmed by the Senate.
What would happen to a true Trumpist if he were nominated for a cabinet post?
Well, just look at what happened to Mike Flynn when he was named National Security Adviser. He was destroyed by the Deep State and “media” within weeks.
A guy like Mike Flynn would have never made it through Senate confirmation, which is why he had to go to NatSec, a post that does not require Senate confirmation.
This is a largely unspoken but major hurdle for Trump in draining the Swamp: it’s virtually impossible for him to fill his Cabinet and administration with true MAGA Trumpists.
And again, the overall available talent pool does not include many—if any—true Trumpists. This is what I was getting at a while back when I wrote that the real problem right now is that there’s only one Donald Trump. Running the government and draining the swamp requires a lot of people on board; the President cannot do it alone. In fact, he can be isolated and held in check by institutional Washington and the Permanent State, as we’re seeing now.
The President does not hold absolute power, and so in order to truly consolidate power and make a meaningful impact, he needs to appoint loyalists and true Trumpists to every cabinet post.
The problem is there’s very few true Trumpists who could actually be appointed.
To rise through the ranks in Washington, you need to be a member of the Uniparty Establishment. You need to be a globalist, politically correct, pro-Open borders, pro women and trannies in the military and a World Policeman Neocon. This is how it’s been for a long time, too, meaning virtually all the “qualified” (meaning: people who could pass Senate confirmation) potential nominees are nowhere near Trump ideologically. As I said earlier, virtually all of them came up under Bush and Obama. But they’re the only people with the credentials and experience to be considered serious candidates for these major posts.
Trumpists are not able to rise through the ranks in Washington. You have to have the “right politics” to move up in that town, and everything Trump stands for in anathema to Official Washington. It’s a self-reinforcing feedback loop. This is why the available talent pool for high-level government posts is full of globalists: they’re the only ones who rise through the ranks in Washington.
One genuine MAGA Trumpist who actually made it into Trump’s cabinet was Jeff Sessions, but Sessions was basically neutralized within the first month when for no legitimate reason other than that he was under heavy “media”/Deep State/Dem pressure, he recused himself from the “Russia investigation” and thus allowed the Mueller Witch Hunt to take off and eventually get completely out of control.
See what I mean? Sessions was as big an immigration hawk as you were going to find in Washington. He was one of Trump’s earliest and most public supporters back when it was considered career suicide to be seen even remotely receptive to Trump. Sessions was legit, and that was why the Deep State made it such a priority to go after him.
The only reason Sessions made it through Senate confirmation was because he was a Senator himself and knew all the people who would be voting on his confirmation. And even then, he still barely squeaked through: the vote was 52-47.
Wherever and whenever the Uniparty Establishment has a say, it will not let a genuine Trump-style MAGA Nationalist anywhere near a position of meaningful power. And in the event a Trumpist does somehow beat the odds and obtain power, the Uniparty will work relentlessly and maliciously to destroy him.
Think of it another way: Trump himself could not have been confirmed by the Senate for a Cabinet post. He’s just too populist and too much of an outsider. His views on immigration, trade and almost everything else are unacceptable to the Uniparty establishment, and if it were entirely up to them, they wouldn’t let Trump anywhere near a position of power.
Fortunately the Presidency is the one office that’s not under their control. They certainly tried to stop him, and they’re still trying today, but they ultimately couldn’t.
Are there any legitimate based nationalists/Trumpists who could possibly be tapped for a cabinet post or high-level White House job?
Ted Cruz comes to mind. Cruz definitely “gets it” and is one of the most uncucked guys in Washington. But I don’t think he’d be able to get 50 votes in the Senate. It would be very close, to the point where you wouldn’t even want to risk it. But the fact that Official Washington hates him tells you all you need to know about him: he’s not one of them. He’s one of us.
Another Senator: Tom Cotton. More than just being a genuine badass military vet and bona fide genius, Cotton is a real immigration hawk who doesn’t just want a border wall, he wants to cut legal immigration levels in half. Tom Cotton is MAGA as hell. Perhaps he could replace Mattis at the Pentagon.
On the House side, you’ve got guys like Mark Meadows, Jim Jordan, Matt Gaetz, Louie Gohmert and Steve King. But none of those guys could ever get confirmed by the Senate. And that’s the problem.
Trump’s own son Don Jr. is based AF and totally gets it. Don Jr. would be awesome in a cabinet post or White House job, but unfortunately we have Ivanka (who is beautiful, smart, charming and a great representative for America on the world stage, but ultimately a bleeding heart when it comes to policy) and her globalist husband Jared. And Don Jr. would never be confirmed by the Senate.
Do you see what I’m talking about? It’s virtually impossible for Trump to stock his cabinet with people who truly believe in his vision.
True Trumpists, outside of Trump himself, are few and far between in Washington. And even if Trump does manage to find one, getting him confirmed by the Senate is so much of a long shot it’s not even worth the time and effort.
All the true MAGA Trumpists are not among the realistic talent pool for high level government posts. People like Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin, Tucker Carlson: they could never get confirmed by the Senate, obviously. Yet I believe if Trump had it his way, he’d be surrounded by people like them, not Official Washington.
But it’s really not up to him. His hands are largely tied when it comes to cabinet posts and major positions. So trump has had to settle on so, so many nominees.
In theory, he’s the President and he can pick anyone he wants.
In practice, he’s severely limited both by the Senate having confirmation power, and by the available talent pool being heavily skewed towards people whose politics are antithetical to his own.