Skip to content

His Dark Materials

February 24, 2017


If you thought that the Trump administration’s goal is to dismantle the non-military functions of the federal government, Steve Bannon confirmed that yesterday. If you were wondering if the Republican party is fully in step, Reince Priebus just confirmed that too.

At the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), Bannon declared that the Trump administration is in a battle for the “deconstruction of the administrative state.” And White House chief of staff Reince Priebus, who supposedly represents the Republican establishment, was right next to him to say “amen.”

Of course, anyone who paid even slight attention to Trump’s cabinet choices wouldn’t have needed Bannon’s statement to understand this.  Virtually every cabinet nominee for the civil departments of the federal governments has been specifically selected to subvert the administrative and regulatory functions of the agency they are supposed to lead.

Consider Scott Pruitt at EPA, Betsy DeVos at Education, Puzder at Labor (at least that one got shot down, no replacement named yet), Mnuchin at Treasury, Mulvaney at OMB, Price at HHS, the list goes on and on. And then there’s Jeff Sessions at Justice to make sure that the government’s judicial machinery doesn’t interfere with the program.  Bannon actually said that nominees “were selected for a reason, and that is deconstruction.”

So if you like having clean air and water, support public schools, believe in paying workers a living wage, think Wall Street and Big Banking need to be regulated to avoid another crash, believe the government needs to have fiscal and monetary tools to mitigate the next recession, want more people to have access to affordable medical care, etc., you now have a government that wants all of these functions delivered into the hands of unconstrained corporate interests. What could possibly go wrong?

The message from Bannon and Priebus at CPAC–which the irrepressible Kellyanne Conway said should really be called “TPAC” (you know, Trump Political…)–is that there really is no daylight between the Trump/Bannon team and the Republican party. After all, even supposedly principled Republican senators like McCain and Graham voted for every last one of Trump’s cabinet nominees.

The best, and perhaps only effective, weapon against this program of destruction is massive, unrelenting, and loud resistance by ordinary Americans who are letting their elected representatives know what they think at town halls across the country, whether their representatives show up or not. This may actually be having some effect, because so far the only prominent Republican member of congress to show up at CPAC has been the reptilian Ted Cruz.


Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: