When the Muslim Brotherhood “won” the 2012 election in Egypt, most of the world just assumed Egypt was going to go down the road to Islamism. Either a slow trot like we have seen with Turkey or perhaps a faster pace into something closer to Iran. That did not happen. Instead, Egypt ground to a halt as the civil service and military, which are intertwined, refused to cooperate with the new government. The result was a sort of coordinated work slowdown and the Brotherhood got the blame for it.
That was not the only reason the Brotherhood failed. They had no idea how to run a country and they never had the depth of support they assumed. Still, the bureaucracy set itself to stymieing Morsi, so they simply stop functioning. People still showed up for work and manned their posts, but they got nothing done. It was a good lesson in how a modern country works, even one on the fringe of modernity. Real power is not in the office, but in control of the system. He who controls the bureaucracy controls the nation.
That comes to mind after Trump has been in office for little more than a week. His initial flurry of executive orders has dominated the news cycles, simply because of the infantile theatrics of the Left. Adult toddlers throwing tantrums at the local airport makes for good TV, especially when the people covering it are toddlers themselves. What has gone unnoticed is the fact that the Republicans appear to have settled on a strategy similar to the Egyptian bureaucracy. They will slow walk everything Trump wants out of Congress.
So far, the Senate has approved the national security appointments because to do otherwise would make them look bad. The education secretary is still bottled up for some reason. Allegedly, everyone in the GOP would just as soon scrap DoE, but they are making a big issue of this nominee. The AG nomination has similarly been slow walked by the Senate. Of course, the traitor John McCain is stirring up trouble over the DHS appointments. The result is there will not be a full cabinet for months.
The bigger issue is the fact that the GOP Congress has no plan to repeal ObamaCare or pass tax reform. It’s pretty clear that the people we thought were secretly supporting Clinton, people like Paul Ryan, really thought she was going to win, so they never bothered to prepare for this. The result is all their big talk after he election about major reforms and repealing ObamaCare was just talk. They were planning for surrender and suddenly found themselves with a President ready to sign off on major reform.
That’s probably only part of it. The fact is, the leadership of the GOP has more in common with the Democrat Party than the emerging Trump Party. Despite the election results, they cannot let go of their belief that the winning hand is to turn the country into a flop house for the refuse of the rest of the world. Globalism is their creed and they will not let go of it just because the people hate it. They are sure Trump will fail so they are going to work hard to make it happen, After all, a prophesy that does not come true is not much use.
Then there is the bureaucracy, which appears to be organizing itself in opposition to Trump in the early going. Senior people in the State Department made a big show of quitting the other day. The acting Attorney General is instructing her department to sit on their hands over challenges to Trump’s immigration orders. It’s all small time and petty, but with the aid of the media it’s becoming cool for the governing class to throw sand in the gears of the Trump administration. At least that’s the hope in DC.
All of this points out the underlying reality in Washington. There is the Cloud People Party and an insurgent Dirt People Party. The Cloud Party and its donor class hate Trump and the people he represents. If you look at the funding sources from both parties, it comes from areas Hillary Clinton carried 2-to-1. According to this Brookings study, the 472 counties that Clinton won last year accounted for 64 percent of the nation’s wealth, while the 2584 counties that Trump won accounted for the remaining 36 percent.
There are plenty of Republicans who support Trump and a surprising number of people in the bureaucracy who know reform is long overdue. Some of the harshest critiques of the state you will hear come from people in the system. There’s also the fact that Trump is proving to be an exceptional political athlete. He has a knack for baiting the media in order to gain public support for his positions. No person has moved the Overton Window further to the right than Trump has done in my lifetime. It truly is amazing.
Even so, the next year will be about the Cloud Party conspiring to undermine the Trump administration, while Trump figures out how to work around the system to undermine the system. His immigration order is a foreshadow of what is to come. Instead of looking for compromise, Team Trump will go big in order to trigger the political class and their media to overreact. This tends to turn off the public and thus turn the Cloud Party assets into liabilities, as we are seeing with these ridiculous protests.
At some point, the Cloud People will shift gears, but for now, the game will be Trump picking fights and the establishment going bonkers.This gives Trump cover to do some important stuff, like we see with the H1B executive order. While the Cloud People are wailing about the so-called Muslim ban, they did not have time to notice the order to shake up the visa program Silicon Valley uses to screw its employees. This sort of cat and mouse game is how an insurgent party must use its speed and agility to overcome the establishment’s size.
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