No More Mr. Tough Guy

David Krayden Ottawa Bureau Chief
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Is there something in the Washington water?  Or maybe it’s in that heavy D.C. air, so top heavy with the hot air of expatiating politicians.  Maybe, just maybe, someone switched the campaign Donald Trump with a more moderate President-elect Donald Trump before he got off his private plane at Ronald Reagan International to meet with President Obama.  You know, the old invasion of the body snatchers trick where people look the same but start articulating odd pronouncements.  Or do you suppose this has something to do with those lizard people?

Alright, all kidding aside, there is something ominous, perhaps pernicious, going on with the new Donald Trump.  Perhaps these are just a few discordant notes emerging from the transitional tuning before the orchestra swells and we hear the resounding harmony of a presidential rhapsody.  But when’s the last time he talked about “build the wall” or “drain the swamp?”

I swear, ever since he had that private, tête-à-tête with Obama and both emerged talking like Ralph Kramden and Ed Norton from The Honeymooners (you decide who is who) Trump has increasingly used the vocabulary and exercised the sensitivity of the Washington political elite, that class of people who measure every word and weigh every phrase for maximum political effect and minimal public comprehension.

Maybe you have to reserve judgment and marvel that Trump would even contemplate meeting with failed Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who routinely used the incoming president as a punching back throughout the GOP primaries and throughout the election.  Romney’s criticisms of Trump were so severe and so visceral that he appeared to be a male doppelganger of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.  Fraud, phony, failed businessman, trickle-down bigotry, unfit for office…the list went on as Mitt delivered jabs, uppercuts and pokes into the face of the Trump campaign.  Yes, well the incoming president must be a statesman of such consummate grace and unlimited forgiveness that all of this is just water under the Brooklyn Bridge.

But he’s not going to make him secretary of state!?  If you think I’m shocked at the prospect, just listen to the Trump surrogates who appear increasingly sidelined in the transition process.  Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee can barely contain his disbelief for the cameras when he’s interviewed and is almost shaking his head as he talks about certain people saying things during the election campaign that should preempt their taking cabinet positions in the Trump administration.

Former House Speak Newt Gingrich has described his new role in Trump’s White House as a modern-day incarnation of Col. Edward House, a confidant of President Woodrow Wilson who sort of traveled with the chief executive, served as an expert companion for playing cards and provided astute advice as required.  That’s a heck of a jump from thinking you might be secretary of state.  Perhaps that’s why Gingrich has appeared both increasingly hostile and isolated when he’s interviewed.  This Tuesday night, on Fox’s Tucker Carlson Tonight, Gingrich didn’t even attempt to conceal his accreting contempt for Romney, saying he could think of 20 other people who are more qualified to be secretary of state than Rockefeller Republican Romney.  No doubt, Gingrich is one of them.

But Trump’s vicissitudes don’t end with his peculiar fascination with Romney.  Now he thinks the Clintons have endured enough suffering and he doesn’t wish to impose more legal hardship on either Hillary or Bill.  Aside from the fact that it is not the president-elect’s decision as to whether Hillary, Bill or the Foundation is prosecuted, the very notion that the Clintons have already done their time is not just curious but absurd.  These champagne Democrats have been living high on the public trough throughout their political careers and really haven’t experienced a day of hardship.  Not being elected to the office of president was not a punishment for Hillary Clinton so much as it was evidence that God continues to shed his grace on America.  With her insouciant and flagrant disregard for national security Clinton had no business even running for the office.

But then came yesterday’s enigmatic pronouncement to the once-failed New York Times that he is open to the suggestion that humans create climate change.  What else is he open to?  Millions of people voted for Trump because he was a leader who showed no trepidation at exposing the climate change racket for what it is:  the greatest tax grab in history and a get rich quick scheme for an elite group of guilt-inducing environmental parasites.  In what many called the Second Gettysburg Address, Trump promised to stop sending American money to the United Nations so it could continue to flush it down the climate change toilet.  The Paris Climate Agreement is another historic sham where Western nations shut down their economies so China and India can continue to produce greenhouse gasses unmolested.

Before these fancies become policies:  President-elect Trump, keep speaking some big-league truth and get on with draining that swamp.

Follow David on Twitter @DavidKrayden