TAC’s Scott McConnell, writing in the National Interest, says that Donald Trump’s flip-flop on DACA is only the latest in a series of betrayals of paleocon supporters — and says it’s probably the last straw. Excerpt:
There have always been some voices some on the anti-war, globalism-skeptic right who warned that Trump—because of his character flaws—would do more damage to their causes by winning than by losing. I didn’t agree with this, having long ago accepted that in politics, the best can be the enemy of the good. But the danger Trump poses to the tripartite and—six months ago at least—increasingly ascendant positions of restrained foreign policy, more regulated immigration and renegotiated trade, can’t really be denied. Quite the contrary.
On Thursday morning the polemical writer Ann Coulter, author of a widely read pro-Trump work and many pro-Trump columns, tweeted, “If we’re not getting a wall, I’d prefer President Pence.” She essentially rescinded her backing of Trump. Coulter is a bellwether, as important on the outside as Bannon was on the inside, the most famous of many who submerged their doubts about Trump’s preparation and character because, simply, he said so many things during the campaign which were courageous, perceptive, and in their view and mine, simply correct. I’ve heard (from a left-wing journalist) Trump described as the perfector of a kind of an idiot savant version of paleoconservatism—he could say the right phases, with excellent cadence and timing, without understanding or believing any of it. It’s a joke of course, but it would be more funny if it wasn’t on us.
Read the whole thing. McConnell also suspects that Trump is willing to sell out his base in a desperate attempt to keep the Robert Mueller wolf at bay. Quite a drama playing out in Washington now.
Donald Trump has only been president for nine months.
Don’t miss this amazing account of how Trump humiliated AG Jeff Sessions in the Oval Office after the Mueller appointment. Excerpts:
Shortly after learning in May that a special counsel had been appointed to investigate links between his campaign associates and Russia, President Trump berated Attorney General Jeff Sessions in an Oval Office meeting and said the attorney general should resign, according to current and former administration officials and others briefed on the matter.
The president blamed the appointment of the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, on Mr. Sessions’s decision to recuse himself from the Justice Department’s Russia investigation — a move Mr. Trump believes was the moment his administration effectively lost control over the inquiry. Accusing Mr. Sessions of “disloyalty,” Mr. Trump unleashed a string of insults on his attorney general.
Ashen and emotional, Mr. Sessions told the president he would quit and sent a resignation letter to the White House, according to four people who were told details of the meeting. Mr. Sessions would later tell associates that the demeaning way the president addressed him was the most humiliating experience in decades of public life.
Administration officials and some of Mr. Trump’s outside advisers have puzzled at Mr. Sessions’s decision to stay on. But people close to Mr. Sessions said that he did not leave because he had a chance to have an impact on what he sees as an issue of his career: curtailing legal and illegal immigration.
In recent weeks, he has spearheaded the effort to undo what he believed to be the Obama administration’s dangerously lenient immigration policies, including the Deferred Action of Childhood Arrivals program.
Mr. Sessions had no illusions about converting Mr. Trump to his side of the argument — Mr. Trump remains deeply ambivalent — and he had no illusions about repairing a damaged relationship he had once regarded as a friendship. But he told people he felt he had successfully pushed the president toward ending the Obama immigration policy, and thought it had given him increased leverage in the West Wing.
And Trump said, “Ha!”
At this point, is there any faction or significant figure left to betray?