- The American Conservative - https://www.theamericanconservative.com -

Anti-Trump Republicans and Trump’s ‘Blacklist’

During the election campaign, many anti-Trump foreign policy professionals and academics declared their opposition to Trump. That is unsurprisingly still being held against them [1]:

Now, just days before Trump is sworn in as the nation’s 45th president, the letter signers fear they have been added to another document, this one private — a purported blacklist compiled by Trump’s political advisers.

If Trump’s team is blacklisting all the people that signed these letters, that is somewhat short-sighted on their part, but hardly unexpected. It had to be obvious that Trump and his advisers would hold a grudge against these people, so it can’t exactly come as a shock that they are now holding a grudge. Remember that these letters weren’t just a dry list of objections to specific policy statements, but almost always included very pointed attacks on Trump’s personal flaws. Trump’s opponents were within their rights to make those attacks, and most of them were accurate, but they had to know that Trump’s people weren’t going to forget about it later. It is probably the case that many of the letter-signers assumed Trump would lose in the primaries or in the general election, so they didn’t worry about being shut out of a Trump administration that they didn’t think would happen. I assumed [2] most of the people that declared Trump unfit for office would be unwilling to work for him, but even if they are willing they should have known that they wouldn’t be welcome. Dan Drezner makes [3] much the same point today:

For the love of God, people, what did you think was going to happen? Did you think that Donald Trump, of all people, would be the bigger man? Did you think that the foreign policy flunkies and D-listers who attached themselves to Trump during the campaign would now act like mature, responsible adults? Because if you did, maybe your threat assessment capabilities are not as good as you think — in which case Trump’s folks are pretty smart not to hire you.

If there’s a lesson in any of this, it is that professionals that want to serve in government should refrain from signing their names to denunciations of candidates unless they are prepared to be shut out from government positions as a result. That doesn’t mean that they can’t take sides in the primaries or the general election, but it does mean that they should stick to advocating for their preferred candidates rather than vainly trying to block one they don’t like.

Advertisement
15 Comments (Open | Close)

15 Comments To "Anti-Trump Republicans and Trump’s ‘Blacklist’"

#1 Comment By SteveM On January 17, 2017 @ 11:38 am

I love the counter-arguments by the WaBezos MSM hacks and the other apologists. To paraphrase: “If the legacy, corrupt self-aggrandizing Beltway Nomeklatura that has driven America over a cliff is not allowed to continue driving America over a cliff – who will!?

This is my favorite, the prototypical Beltway Crony Danielle Pletka (AEI):

[4]

“He’s an idiot! He’s in this for himself….”

“in this for himself…” Ha! Ha! Ha! Coming from a paid mouthpiece who hoovers up $275,000 a year from defense contractors, the Saudi creeps and AIPAC to pimp Neocon theology. Pletka must be sweating bullets now in her comfy digs at AEI.

Remember the Seinfeld episode where George insults his boss, quits, storms out of the office, and then later shows up and acts like nothing happened hoping nobody would notice? That has to be Pletka and her crew right now. “Oh, about all of those Trump-is-Existentially Evil diatribes?” “Nevermind…”

#2 Comment By SF Bay On January 17, 2017 @ 1:42 pm

” they should stick to advocating for their preferred candidates rather than vainly trying to block one they don’t like.”

This in a nutshell is an important reason Clinton lost. She spent the majority of her time and ads, etc. telling us who not to vote for. In doing so she failed to tell us why we would want to for for her.

You can argue, and I agree, that Comey was a huge factor is sowing concern about her. And Russia certainly got the candidate they pushed through hacking and fake news.

Lastly, I can’t for the life of me figure out how 46 million people voted for a man that disrespects women, the handicapped, African Americans, Mexicans, and our current president. That vote leaves me feeling very sad about the future of our country.

#3 Comment By Michelle On January 17, 2017 @ 1:46 pm

Anyone who made it onto a Trump blacklist should be proud. Wear it as a badge of honor. Don’t back down in your criticisms of the petty tyrant.

#4 Comment By Simon94022 On January 17, 2017 @ 1:48 pm

Nearly all of these foreign policy “experts” backed the Iraq War, supported the war in Libya, opposed Brexit, have no objection to helping the Saudis kill and starve the people of Yemen, believe the U.S. should intervene more aggressively to help Al Qaeda in the Syrian Civil War, and consider Russia and Iran the main strategic threats to the United States.

So I am thankful they signed the NeverTrump manifestos. Anything that keeps these people far from power or influence can only be a good thing.

#5 Comment By Captain P On January 17, 2017 @ 2:49 pm

If I were to write a list of who shouldn’t be trusted to staff our foreign and security policy positions, it would have a high degree of overlap with Trump’s blacklist.

Trump’s vindictiveness could turn out to be a blessing in disguise if it keeps these menaces out of government.

#6 Comment By HankP On January 17, 2017 @ 4:23 pm

They’ll be happy they’re shut out in four years. One thing that’s been consistent about Trump since the 70s is that everyone who associates with him gets tainted before they can disassociate from him.

#7 Comment By Alex On January 17, 2017 @ 4:50 pm

I did not vote. I did not want to vote for Trump and I could not vote for Hillary.

Why does Trump need advisors? CIA are idiots, he knows about ISIS more than all the generals. Any press who does not agree with him is a “fake news”.

Is there anything he does not know?

#8 Comment By Ken Zaretzke On January 17, 2017 @ 4:56 pm

“Trump’s vindictiveness could turn out to be a blessing in disguise if it keeps these menaces out of government.”

Amen. But whether or not Trump is being vindictive, he is simply displaying an old-fashioned concept of honor in barring them. An man who believes in honor does not forget those who viciously attack him, and generally he does not forgive them, either. What part of this do neocon warmongers not understand?

#9 Comment By Donald the Vampire Slayer On January 17, 2017 @ 5:47 pm

“It had to be obvious that Trump and his advisers would hold a grudge against these people, so it can’t exactly come as a shock that they are now holding a grudge. “

… and it’s not as though they constitute some great reserve of foreign policy expertise and wisdom. Most of them are the same people who screwed things up royally the past 20 years. We’ll do just fine without them.

One of my darkest fears is that Trump might hire a few, thinking he ought to throw them a bone, when what he ought to be doing is driving a stake through their collective heart.

#10 Comment By TR On January 17, 2017 @ 6:50 pm

I think Donald the Vampire Slayer gets it just about right.

#11 Comment By Fran Macadam On January 18, 2017 @ 3:05 am

You’d have to be crazy to hire those in your own party who vilified you. Think how neocon Hillary, Obama’s opponent in the primaries, sandbagged him and got the extra wars she wanted in the Middle East once elevated within his administration. I once made the mistake of not neutralizing an underhanded rival who liked to practice backstabbing office politics, and later paid the price, which was good for neither me, the company or its employees. Who wants to have to utter, too late, “Et tu, Brute?”

#12 Comment By c matt On January 18, 2017 @ 12:58 pm

Lastly, I can’t for the life of me figure out how 46 million people voted for a man that disrespects women, the handicapped, African Americans, Mexicans, and our current president.

Even if that were true, because the other option was worse.

If these idiots did not think their actions would have consequences, they should not be allowed near hot or sharp objects, much less placed in any position of responsibility.

Anyhoo, he is simply doing what any politician who wins does – solidify his position and root out enemies. How many of his detractors did Bush I, Clinton, Bush II or Obama hire?

#13 Comment By rayray On January 18, 2017 @ 2:10 pm

The joke is that Trump is hiring worse anyway.

The Blacklist is meaningless as anything other than a symptom of Trump’s self-important animus.

#14 Comment By Patrick On January 18, 2017 @ 10:09 pm

Why would Trump want to hire his avowed enemies? If he did they would work to undermine him.

So many commenters continue to underestimate Pres. Trump. They still don’t recognize the most talented politician in a good long time. The campaign demonstrated he was more than a match for every one of his competitors, and these were long time professional politicians in most cases. He has shown competence as a candidate and he might very well be a capable executive. If he turns out to be incompetent the country will survive as it has after a long line of bozos before him. I’m optimistic.

#15 Comment By TZX4 On January 20, 2017 @ 7:50 pm

@HankP
It is quite conceivable that the GOP itself canbe included in that group of ‘everyone who has associated with Mr Trump’.