Thursday, December 15, 2016

Donald Trump's Cabinet Picks Are Among the Most Conservative in History

Following-up from a little while ago, "Trump to Make Energy Policy Major Theme of Administration."

Like I said, I'm pleased as punch.

At the Los Angeles Times, "Trump's Cabinet picks are among the most conservative in history. What that means for his campaign promises":
Donald Trump promotes himself as a man divorced from party ideology, a president-elect just as open-minded to input from Al Gore as from Newt Gingrich.

But with his Cabinet nearly complete, he has chosen one of the most consistently conservative domestic policy teams in modern history, setting himself up for hard decisions and potential conflict with some of his supporters when he begins to govern.

The internal conflicts have emerged with nearly every pick.

Trump campaigned against the big banks, then chose a former Goldman Sachs partner, Steven Mnuchin, to run his Treasury Department. He pledged to save Medicare and Social Security, then chose Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.), who has advocated sweeping revisions in Medicare and Medicaid, to run Health and Human Services.

Trump has placed the burdens of working people at the top of his agenda, yet chose as Labor secretary an executive, Andrew Puzder, who talked in an interview about the advantages of replacing human workers with machines because they are “always polite, they always upsell, they never take a vacation, they never show up late, there's never a slip-and-fall, or an age, sex, or race discrimination case.”

And even as Trump aides put out word that the president-elect’s daughter Ivanka would be an influential administration voice in favor of curbing global warming, Trump named a man who has repeatedly expressed skepticism about the scientific consensus on climate change, Oklahoma Atty. Gen. Scott Pruitt, to lead the Environmental Protection Agency.

“This is a big mystery to a lot of people, and it’s going to be one of the hardest things about this presidency,” said Elaine Kamarck, a former advisor in the Clinton administration now at the Brookings Institution in Washington, who has written extensively about the inner workings of White Houses.

Trump has so far shown a deftness at drawing attention away from sticky policy debates with bold, attention-grabbing strokes, a tactic that may help him deflect controversies when he moves to the Oval Office. On Monday, he announced he was delaying until next month a news conference at which he had promised to address his business conflicts of interest, then on Tuesday morning, he staged a photo opportunity at Trump Tower with entertainer Kanye West.

He defied some ideologues in his party, and won goodwill from many supporters, by dramatically persuading Carrier Corp. to keep some of the air conditioning company’s manufacturing jobs in Indiana rather than ship them to Mexico.

Despite criticism over singling out an individual company with tax incentives and implicit threats to its government contracting business, Trump was able to use the publicity over the deal to promote a message that workers, particularly those in manufacturing, were at the top of his agenda.

“We are going to see a lot of symbolic politics,” said Lara Brown, a professor of political management at George Washington University. She expects gestures like the Carrier deal to prove effective for some time.

Trump’s supporters, Brown said, are more invested in shaking up the system than a particular policy agenda.

But the splashy moves could wear thin if Trump fails to deliver on signature promises, like a jobs boom...
It's all going to be fine.

I'm sure of it.

But keep reading, in any case.