Greetings from somewhere in the Caribbean Sea. Y’all know I was Army, not Navy, so I’m not too skilled in reading stars, sextants, and charts. I much rather prefer a map, a compass, and terra firma. Angela and I are on Brent Bozell’s Media Research Center cruise and what a stellar cast of folks…LTG Jerry Boykin, Brigitte Gabriel, and Steve Moore just to mention a few. However, I wanted to share an assessment from last week’s thrashing about in Washington DC — and what I think is an important lesson to be learned for the GOP.
Last week for President Donald Trump started with a thud, I mean, let’s be honest, having to accept the resignation of your National Security Adviser after three weeks ain’t good. Later in the week, Senate Republicans voiced their lack of support for President Trump’s Secretary of Labor nominee, just a day before he was to testify, resulting in Andy Puzder withdrawing his name.
President Trump was still reeling from the incessant backlash over the rather disastrous rollout of his temporary travel halt executive order. There was blood in the water and the liberal progressive media was moving in for the attack. President Trump had lost the narrative, so what was he to do? It’s simple, he realized that simple military maxim, you don’t win on the defense. So on Thursday President Trump went on the offense and put the media on defense. He totally shifted the narrative leaving the media apoplectic and even declaring the president mentally ill.
In essence, Trump did as a great American hero and Medal of Honor recipient, Colonel Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain did on Day Two at the Battle of Gettysburg on Little Round Top…he ordered a bayonet charge. Just as the 20th Alabama Regiment kept coming up that hill towards the 20th Maine Regiment, so has the media been relentless in assaulting President Trump. Just as casualties were mounting for Chamberlain, so it seemed for Trump. Just as Chamberlain and his men ran out of ammunition, and seemingly options…so it seemed for Trump.
And facing another onslaught, Trump ordered a bayonet charge when he took to the stand in the White House, the greatest bully pulpit in the world, and took the fight to his assailants. And he wasn’t finished. President Trump went out to Boeing in South Carolina and then in front of the American people in Melbourne, Florida. The left can rant — as President Trump predicted — but now THEY appear unhinged and borderline deranged.
So now that he has reasserted himself — and let’s be honest, the left said nothing when Obama would bust out of Washington DC when the pressure increased and held rallies — Trump must govern, and he must set his sights on these key issues: tax and healthcare reform, reform of our military, and government reform.
He must now stay on message as he’s placed the media and political establishment on their heels. President Trump should get back to Washington DC and ask where is the Senate? And he must lay out all the key cabinet posts, deputies, and undersecretary positions for which he has names — and they need confirmation.
He must ask the question, where is the U.S. Senate, and use the phrase, “we’ve got work to do.”
Right now, the Senate — yes Republicans — are dismissing President Trump, and that is partly his fault. The recent comments of Senator John McCain are an indicator. I know it seems President Trump has an Energizer bunny rabbit in him, but folks, this is a marathon, not a sprint. President Trump needs a team, his lieutenants, not the folks sitting in the White House, but the agencies, in order to advance his vision, his policy agenda. And that can only happen if he develops that list of nominees, properly vets them, conveys these individuals’ names to the Senate Majority Leader, and gives the Senate a timeline for confirmation.
Need I remind you why it’s imperative to get heads of the government agencies in place? The rear guard subversive shadow government left in place by Barack Obama must be replaced. As long as these saboteurs remain, the undermining of the peaceful transition of governance is threatened.
This week — or soon as possible — President Trump must do that which is clearly necessary: reverse President John F. Kennedy’s Executive Order 10988 that turned 50 years old in 2012, and stop letting federal employee unions run the show.
As the Washington Post wrote in January 2012, “The first line of Executive Order 10988 establishes the basic premise: “Whereas participation of employees in the formulation and implementation of personnel policies affecting them contributes to effective conduct of public business. . . .”
That notion has come under attack recently. Nonetheless, federal unions labor on, seeking, in the words of the order, to provide workers “an opportunity for greater participation in the formulation and implementation of policies and procedures affecting the conditions of their employment.”
Colleen M. Kelley, president of the National Treasury Employees Union, said Kennedy’s action was “a major step forward and helped to create the most highly respected civil service in the world.” William R. Dougan, president of the National Federation of Federal Employees, said that “collective bargaining has made inestimable gains in the quality of work life for millions of federal workers over the past half-century. Top-down decisions on safety and health matters, work schedules, reorganizations and many other workplace issues have been replaced with a collaborative process where workers have a definitive voice in how they accomplish their mission.”
I must take issue with the aforementioned statement by Colleen M. Kelley. There are indeed good folks who are government employees, but the overall atmosphere is not one of such reputation. Shall I mention the VA scandal, or how about Lois Lerner at the IRS, and others? What about those employees at the EPA about whom we reported a few days ago…you know, those folks who are busy writing up more rules and regulations costing Americans legal fees just to protect their private property?
The Washington Post piece says something else that bears repeating: “What Kennedy might not have realized when he signed the document Jan. 17, 1962, was the impact his action would have on union membership. The rate of union membership in the federal government is several times that of the private sector, which in 2010 stood at just 6.9 percent of that workforce, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
At the federal level, about 63 percent of federal workers are unionized, estimates Robert Tobias, a former president of the National Treasury Employees Union and now director of Key Executive Leadership Programs at American University. Although BLS does not confirm Tobias’s estimate, it’s clear unions have a strong presence in the federal government. A major reason is that the order told agency officials not to mess with employees who want to join or organize a union.
“Employees of the Federal Government shall have, and shall be protected in the exercise of, the right, freely and without fear of penalty or reprisal, to form, join and assist any employee organization or to refrain from any such activity,” Section 1(a) said. It further instructed agency heads to ensure “that no interference, restraint, coercion or discrimination is practiced within such agency to encourage or discourage membership in any employee organization.”
What has really happened is that no one can fire a government employee because the government unions have become so very strong…and have a taxpayer-funded monopoly.
This is what President Trump needs to understand — tax and healthcare reform along with the rebuilding of our military capability and capacity are vital policy endeavors.
However, the real draining of the swamp is to reform the federal government and make it an effective and efficient organization that truly does serve the American people.
When you realize that some of the most affluent counties in our Republic surround Washington DC, that should be all the evidence you need. When you fly into Washington’s Reagan National Airport, you see countless contraction cranes. And many of those cranes are building high rise residential buildings…ask yourself the rhetorical question, for whom?
President Donald Trump possesses a truly unorthodox style, one that has taken on and defeated Bushes, Clintons, Obama, the progressive socialist left, and the entertainment, political and media establishments.
Starting last Thursday he reclaimed the initiative and went on offense. The left is in a complete meltdown, frayed and disarrayed because they’ve thrown everything at President Trump, like General John Bell Hood at Little Round Top, and he’s still there on that hill.
My advice to President Trump is now to begin the pursuit phase. This is where a savvy White House Chief of Staff would have the next 60-90 days scripted with an execution timeline that keeps everyone reacting to the White House, not the other way around. The named White House Chief Strategist, Steve Bannon, should be placed in charge of one thing: federal government reform. The Trump administration needs to start showing this week that it is indeed a well-oiled machine that can handle a multitude of issues, and that starts with every person knowing their daily task and purpose.
President Trump, get your cabinet filled, and demand the Senate get back to DC and confirm your nominees. Key is getting your national security and defense teams in place as your most important title is commander in chief, and no, you cannot do this alone. SecDef Mattis needs service secretaries, a deputy, and a staff of undersecretaries.
By Wednesday of this week sir, you need a national security adviser. Start addressing the global Islamic jihad, Russia, Iran, China, and North Korea and how we’re going to confront these threats. Get other faces before the camera and show the level of competence and professionalism of your folks — look at the great job U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley did with her first press conference. Instead of Twitter, issue policy statements through your new White House Communications Director, Mike Dubke. Mr. President, you’ve won over millions of Americans’ hearts; now speak to their minds.
Mr. President, you’re not a professional politician — but Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain wasn’t a professional soldier. He was a professor of rhetoric from Bowdoin College in Maine.
But that is what you have to love about America — ordinary men and women can step up and do extraordinary things. Bravo sir, but this is far from over!