Twitter feeds report that Reince Preibus is no longer the White House Chief of Staff. Preibus, who accompanied the president on Air Force One to a Long Island event today as his last act, served the president for just over six months.
I would amuse myself by thinking he listened to the tweet of a fellow Wisconsinite and former church-mate when he offered his resignation at almost the exact moment I tweeted him, but I’ll just enjoy the coincidence.
(Again, please note, I’m only making the implication in jest… EVERYONE has been begging him for months to save face and jump ship.)
CNN reports that Preibus submitted his resignation to the president last night. White House staff appeared surprised as they found out about the change through Twitter and news feeds like everyone else.
His replacement will be General John Kelly (ret.), who has been secretary of the Department of Homeland Security for the first few months of this year will likely have no problem with the management side of running the White House. However, his lack of legislative/political experience may prove to be a liability for a job already handicapped by a president who’s own management style is so erratic that it’s hard to blame anyone for not being able to control the daily maelstrom coming from the West Wing.
However, General Kelly is well-respected on both sides of the political aisle and has served honorably in every position he’s been appointed to. So in the very least, if negative impressions continue, it only helps to prove who the real problem is – not the Chief of Staff.
While Kelly’s arrival is not a partisan coup, the ouster of Preibus completes a takeover of sorts by lifelong progressives dedicated to assuming as much power in the White House as possible. Preibus was the last remaining strand of Republican Party faithful of having a steady, experienced political hand in the President’s circle.
While Gen Michael Flynn did not last because of his being caught lying to the authorities and the Vice President, he was a registered Democrat until he served under President Trump. Steve Bannon, himself an outspoken defender of liberal causes like progressive taxes, major Eisenhower-style infrastructure projects and protectionist policies was made Senior Advisor to the president on day one. Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law, like every other member of his family, has donated to, and supported larger government, New York- and Jersey-style. Anthony Scaramucci and his wife (although she filed for divorce TODAY) have long been Democrat socialites and donors in NYC.
It all makes the furor over three Mueller investigators’ donations a head scratcher.
It was reported heavily during the primary that the Trump family has been dedicated to Democrat causes and candidates for most of their years in the public eye. The progressive philosophy of the patriarch, Donald Trump was well-documented during both of his flirtations with running for president (1987, ’99), from gun control and global warming to universal healthcare and being “very, very pro choice.” He has donated to Harry Reid (not from NY) and Kamala Harris (again, not from NY). Before his political conversion at the tender age of 66, he had donated $581,000 to Democrat candidates and much more to progressive organizations. These donations stopped almost entirely once he began his FoxNews relationship in 2012. Trump’s promotion of liberal principles continued at least another couple of years.
In the last couple months, we’ve seen the departures (either by resignation or termination) of FBI Director James Comey (5/9), Dep National Sec Advisor KT McFarland (5/19), Comms Director Mike Dubke (5/30), Deputy Chief of Staff Katie Walsh (5/30), Legal Spokesman Mark Carallo (7/20), Press Secretary Sean Spicer (7/21), Assistant Press Secretary Michael Short (7/25), and now Chief of Staff Reince Preibus (7/28).
Office of Government Ethics Director Walter Shaub departed July 6th over concerns over not being allowed to do his job of accountability. The president has repeatedly joked or flat out threatened to fire Jeff Sessions (Attorney General), Nikki Haley (UN Ambassador) and Robert Mueller (former FBI director/special prosecutor).
The torrent of staff shakeups, or threats has been astounding. The number of firings and resignations is historic. So, perhaps not surprisingly, the inability of the administration to fill important, legally-required management positions is unprecedented. And no, it’s not because Democrats are obstructing like we did under President Obama. It’s because the administration cannot submit the names of enough people. Of the 146 people the White House has nominated for positions, about 50 have been confirmed, as of last week. But, there are still 357 Senate-confirmable positions for which no nominations have been announced. It has been difficult to find qualified leadership, let alone Republicans.
Now, the Senior Advisors, and the Communications Director are progressives, in addition to the entire Trump family, including Trump himself.
WHAT IT COULD MEAN
I expect now that the Obamacare repeal/replace effort is effectively dead that the administration will move to measured tax reform (tax increases on the wealthiest Americans is already being thrown about), a massive nationwide infrastructure project, federally mandated maternity leave and daycare and others. It is still very possible that a future SCOTUS appointment could be used as leverage in negotiating a large legacy-building proposal, but as the number of like-minded Republicans are squeezed out of the White House, I hold out less hope for a positive outcome.
It took two years of campaigning, and about six months of the presidency, but the Republican Party has now been gutted, humiliated, demoralized, and possibly even criminalized on the federal level. For the first time since Eisenhower, the Republican presidency is under the full control of progressives, and all the hard work we did the last 15 years has been lost.