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New dawn breaking?

August 1, 2017

There have already been so many words written and uttered by political and media pundits on the subject of General John Kelly’s change in job description that it seems nearly pointless to keep spurring that horse.

The real question for many of those deplorables Washington took so lightly is, how long can the mercurial President and a no-nonsense Marine coexist?

Ask any career military officer, and they’ll tell you that you don’t get four-stars in any branch of the service without being able to do two things.

First, produce the desired results. Second, know just how far you can go in shaping the opinions of authority without being busted to PFC.

Obviously General Kelly is not quite in the same position as a person bucking for a promotion. It says a lot for him that he agreed to serve in this position, particularly since he already had a good post at DHS.

It says something for the President too.  Whether it lasts or not, he finally seems to have realized that he needs everyone rowing the boat in the same direction.

To the extent normal people are paying attention during the summer, the dip in the President’s overall approval numbers is a very real canary in the coal mine.

One of the surest ways to tell if General Kelly is succeeding is to see how fast all the anonymous  sources dry up. To that end, it would behoove President Trump to take a second, and then a third and fourth look at his position toward Jeff Sessions, given the AG’s decision to investigate the leaks.

Common sense would dictate that the two biggest sources of the leaks, particularly the negative ones, are coming from within the White House and the intelligence agencies.

Another item to watch is whether Congress can actually prove it can walk and chew gum at the same time. Ideally, Democrats and Republicans alike should be too busy to pop off on Twitter or give interviews to the NYT or WaPo. That’s assuming of course that they want to keep their jobs and aren’t just gathering material for a book.

So far, they seem to only be capable of working on one thing at a time, although that perception may be media-driven.  If House Speaker Ryan was right, there is no reason why Congress shouldn’t have been working on tax reform and the budget and the debt ceiling and healthcare at the same time.

To say that now the House and Senate can begin working on something other than fixing or repealing Obamacare is maddening at best and downright scary at the worst.

Begin? Those other things should be 75% ready to vote on right now.  That’s one place where the entire country completely shares the President’s frustration with the do-nothing Congress.

Maybe they are farther along than the media wants to talk about, but judging by how ineffective the efforts have been on Obamacare, it seems unlikely.

Perhaps when VP Pence returns, he will feel like helping out with that, and maybe now the President will even be able to let him.

 

From → op-ed

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