In the run-up to this year’s election, when I thought Hillary Clinton would win, I speculated about what a post-Trump GOP would look like. It seemed to me that the Party might settle on a synthesis that mixed two doses of traditional conservatism with one dose of Trumpianism.
Based on Trump’s early moves, especially his appointments, it looks like this might be the formula. Except I’m not sure about the dose of Trumpianism.
I’m being facetious. We’re still not half way into the Trump transition. Moreover, some of his personnel decisions are quite Trumpian. There’s plenty of reason to believe that Trump will be Trumpian on trade and infrastructure spending. The nature of his foreign policy is an open question.
Nonetheless, as John noted today, Trump’s appointments so far have been quite conservative. In my opinion, they are more conservative than George W. Bush’s and more conservative than those of John McCain and Mitt Romney likely would have been.
A year ago, if you had given me these names and asked me to guess the president-elect, I might well have said Ted Cruz. Or, if I was thinking outside the box, Mike Pence as a dark horse.
UPDATE: I see that Trump will select Elaine Chao to be Secretary of Transportation. That’s neither a conservative choice nor a Trumpian one — it’s Bushian (Chao served without distinction in W’s Cabinet as Secretary of Labor). And, of course, it’s a bow to Senate Majority Leader McConnell, Chao’s husband.