Thursday, February 02, 2017

Donald Trump Will Make The Opposition Great, Too

Having spent my entire working life in the private sector, I’ve found the political developments over the past 11 days to be stimulating, upsetting, encouraging, and amusing, but above all highly entertaining.

Every business person I know has worked under tremendous pressure at points in his or her career. The source of the stress can be positive, for example, laboring on an acquisition, or negative, i.e., trying to keep one’s company out of bankruptcy; sometimes it’s both. Staying alive is a 24/7 proposition for many businesses.

Very few sections of the government work under such tough conditions---the military does so, of course, as do police, fire, and emergency services.

But the regulatory agencies? Here’s how I imagine how a regulator thinks: I’m writing rules that you have to follow---and I’m sure you have questions but it’s after four and Monday is Indigenous People’s Day (what, you don’t get that day off?)---and by the way I need more money next year to do the same job. You've got a timetable, I've got mine, and mine trumps yours. (Your humble blogger would be happy to be proved wrong.)

I’m sure you have heard non-government people wish “If only government operated like a business.” Yes, generally Republicans say that, but it’s really independent of policy. The bureaucracy needs to move faster---even if the answer is no, tell the petitioners now so that they can move on. And needing months to deliberate does not necessarily make the decision better; sometimes it’s terribly flawed (Obamacare, I’m looking at you) even with a lot of time to analyze and discuss.

Every day President Trump has issued three or four directives that each would have constituted the media headline of the day in Administrations past. That’s how it’s done in real-world organizations when there’s a change in management.

The media, Hollywood, and academia and other centers of opposition are no strangers themselves to rapid change and should not feign shock at the pace of pronouncements because their organizations have likely experienced this pace themselves. The opposition will soon come to realize that trying to drum up outrage on crowd size, fake news, a fake "Muslim ban" and Russian election hacking is a losing strategy while the Trump train has loaded the cars and left the station.

Now that the President has nominated Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, the opposition does have an issue on which to focus its fire for several weeks. However, it won't be able to give full attention to what the President's doing on tax law, regulatory procedures, Cabinet appointments, Iran, China, public education, the "wall", sanctuary cities, and a host of other topics.

The media defenders of statism have grown fat and lazy carrying water for a government that was their friend only if they agreed with it. They don’t see this yet, but Donald Trump will force them to hone their message and pick their fights. He will make them great, too.

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