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Is Trump satisfying conservatives?

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.The Associated Press
Wednesday, April 05, 2017 08:47 am

Many of us voted for Donald Trump, if reluctantly and with some reservations, because we thought we might geet some of the conservative agenda from him and we knew we'd get none of it from Hillary Clinton.

So how is that working out?

Dennis Prager is one of those reluctant Trump voters, and he says it is time for conservatives to celebrate the president:

What I do know is that they ought to be deeply appreciative of him, and deeply grateful for luck or providence, and certainly for Trump himself, that he was elected president. First, it is unlikely that any other Republican would have defeated Hillary Clinton. Second, he has not only surpassed many of our expectations but also thus far governed in a manner more consistent with conservative principles than any president since Ronald Reagan, and arguably Calvin Coolidge.

He then lists several things conservatives should be cheering, such as Trump keeping his promise to nominate a conservative to the Supreme Court, repealing many of the Obama energy regulations that would have strangled the economy, getting on with building a wall on the Southern border and working toward a tax reduction and simplification plan. I'll grant him all of those and add putting a freeze on federal employment.

But it's clearer than ever that Trump is not a conservative at heart. I'm not sure he even has a core philosophy except to get one deal done and move on to the next. So we'll keep getting tidbits here and there that fit in with conservative thinking, but it won't be because Trump is following some grand conservative vision. So conservatives should not expect any real movement on some of their biggest and longest-held beliefs.

Like taming the federal government. His proposed budget included a welcome increase for the military and some funding cut suggestions domestically, but it basically did nothing to eliminate the deficit. And Trump has pledged not to touch Social Security or Medicare, so the national debt will keep on growing.

Then there is his support for the "border tax," which would basically put a tax on imports and drive up the costs of consumer goods across the board. Enthusisam for that seems to be waning, but now there are some reports (which the administration denies, sort of) that both a carbon tax and a value added tax are being considered. If those two are ever seriously proposed, unless it's in conjuction with some very serious downsizing of the income tax, I think you can kiss any conservative support for the administration goodbye.

So I'm happy with some things, but don't know that I'm quite ready to celebrate yet. I will choose to be cautiously optimistic. Optimistic because Trump is building a pretty good record of doing what he said he would, and there still some good conservative things on his promise list. Cautious because, well, Trump. He keeps getting in his own way and getting us involved in stupid sideshows that have nothing to do with his agenda.

Victor Davis Hanson has an interesting point of view. He says Trump is merely doing what Republican presidents have always done after the reigns of revolutionary Democrts (FDR, LBJ, Barack Obama), which is return the government back to the center:

The immediate Republican antidotes to Democratic revolutionaries were rarely themselves counter-revolutionaries. Dwight Eisenhower modestly tried to pull the country back to the center after 20 years of the New Deal — but nonetheless was hounded unmercifully for trying to do so. The supposedly dark and evil Richard Nixon instituted wage and price controls, created the EPA, and went to China. He did not dismantle the Great Society.

A true conservative revolutionary has been rare — Goldwater failed to get elected, and Reagan, without both houses of Congress, ended up more moderate than he expected and was followed in office by a Republican centrist.

Nonetheless, the media and the Left, in their respective arenas, howled that these modest corrections back to the center by Eisenhower, Nixon, and now Trump were nihilistic and extreme.

True to form, we are now hearing those same end-of-days accusations — even as Trump seeks to bring the U.S. back to about where it was between 1980 and 1992. Note that this endless cycle of change and counter-change is not a static phenomenon but incrementally (and over time radically) takes government and the culture ever more leftward.

If that is where we truly are right now (and I think Hanson makes a pretty good case), it makes all the Democratic and media hysteria over Trump look even sillier. Of course, it offers me no particular reason to be ecstatic. "Taking the country back to where it was between 1980 and 1992" is not exactly my dream come true.

ELSEWHERE IN THE NEWS

Writing in the Washinton Examiner, T. Becket Adams is complaining about President Trump giving his first quarter salary to the Natonal Park Service. See, the president promised he would never take his salary, but he's now giving it to a government agency instead of one in the private sector, so that means he is breaking his campaign promise. I dunno. Seems like a pretty petty gripe to me.

Men and women can never be "just friends," says a Lutheran pastor, for much the same reason Billy Crystal said in "When Harry Met Sally," because, well, you know, men are pigs.

The perils of urban living: You shouldn't walk on escalators; you're liable to hurt yourself.

Gender madness update: It's offensive to ask pregnant women whether they're having a girl or a boy, says "gender educator."

Muslim teenager repeats #BlackLivesMatter 100 times on Stanford application, and is accepted: “Everyone who received your application was inspired by your passion, determination, accomplishments, and heart,” the acceptance letter read.

Didn't she read the job description before she took the position? Florida Gov. Rick Scott takes 21 murder cases from Orlando prosecutor who says she will never seek the death penalty.

Now, some feminists are getting really serious: "Rather than wail about the supposed liberation in a woman's right to choose to shun paid employment, we should make it a legal requirement that all parents of children of school-age or older are gainfully employed." Get out of the house and on the job, Mom. It's the law.

 "I hope Susan Rice was keeping tabs on Trump's Russia ties" — Michelle Goldberg at Slate. Reaction of Ann Althouse: "I love the way the messaging turns on a dime. One minute it's ridiculous to think that the Obama administration was doing surveillance on the Trump campaign. The next minute the Obama administration was doing the right thing if it did surveillance on the Trump campaign."

The Left hates Mike Pence for loving his wife because they don't think men can be evil.

The worst idea you'll see all month: Decriminalize traffic laws in order to cut down on police brutality.

Hmm, very interesting: 92 percent of Republicans say they are "extremely or very  proud" to be American. Only 67 percent of Democrats do. I wonder what the percentages were when Obama was president. I don't claim to know. I just wonder. 

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