In itself, criminal justice reform for non-violent offenders is not anathema to Trump’s libertarian supporters (check).
For what it symbolizes in the broader political context, however, the passing of the First Step Act—as the criminal justice reform bill is called—is a bit of an abomination.
Good or bad, the First Step Act is Jared Kushner’s baby. And Kushner, Trump’s liberal son-in-law, should not be having legislative coups!
Yes, Jared and Ivanka are on a tear. The midterm congressional elections of President Trump’s first-term have culminated in a legislative victory for an anemic man, who provides a perfect peg on which to hang the forceful first daughter’s ambition.
In no time at all have Jared and Ivanka Trump moved to consolidate power. This, as intellects like Steven Bannon and Stephen Miller were either fired, or confined to the basement, so to speak.
Today, Bannon is just a flinty glint in Ivanka’s eyes. But by January, 2017, the president’s former White House chief strategist had already “assembled a list of more than 200 executive orders to issue in the first 100 days. The very first EO, in his view, had to be a crackdown on immigration. After all, it was one of Trump’s core campaign promises.” So said Bannon to Michael Wolff, author of Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House.
Many a pundit has suggested that Trump give a kick-ass rah-rah address to explain immigration to the nation.
Nonsense on stilts. The Make America Great Again (S.O.S.) agenda needed to be explained daily and repetitively by someone with a brain. It should have been MAGA every morning with Steve Miller, or Gen. John Kelly or Kirstjen Nielsen. Instead, we got stumblebum Sarah Huckabee issuing a meek, meandering daily apologia.
About that promise to put in place only “the best of people”: Ice princess Kirstjen Nielsen is super smart with a cool temperament and looks to match. Homeland Security Secretary Nielsen had been brought into the Trump Administration by retired United States Marine Corps Gen. John Kelly, formerly White House chief of staff. Nielsen might not be optimal in her current position. But she would’ve made a great MAGA mouthpiece.
It’s quite clear that President Trump’s promise to hire only “the best” ought to have begun with firing The Family. Instead, Mr. Kushner‘s national security portfolio has expanded in a manner incommensurate with his skills. It now includes, I believe, China, Mexico, Iraq, Israel and Saudi Arabia.
The same can be said of Ivanka, who was soon briefing the South Korean president on sanctions against North Korea. That Ivanka lacked a permanent security clearance was the least of the country’s worries, given Steve Bannon’s assessment of her cerebral acuity: “as dumb as a brick”.
Alas, political connections ensured that two branding experts beat Braveheart Bannon of the mighty Breitbart.com! “’The Trump presidency that we fought for, and won, is over,” he lamented, in August of 2017.
If Breitbart.com is to be believed—and it should—Ivanka was the one to give Bannon the boot (or, rather, the Choo): “Trump’s daughter Ivanka pushed Bannon out because of his ‘far-right views’ clashing with her [recently acquired] Jewish faith.” (Funny that, because my own rightist views clash not at all with my Jewish faith.)
“Jarvanka” (the Jared-Ivanka organism) were also said to have orchestrated the ousting of the last of the old MAGA Guard, John Kelly, aforementioned, a most excellent man. Kelly took his role as chief of staff seriously. He was a hardliner who limited Ivanka’s access to Pater.
One of Trump’s superb personnel choices, Kelly’s fate, however, was sealed when he stated how sick-and-tired he was of the first daughter “playing government.” The Goldman-Sachs wing of the White House, commandeered by the Kushners, had always wished him away. So, Kelly got the Choo, too.
Of former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, archconservative Heather Mac Donald observed the following: Sessions was “the only member of the Trump administration who was absolutely staunch in speaking up for the right of Americans to determine what the character of their country should be.”
It takes a strong woman (Mac Donald) to recognize a scheming one. Mac Donald has recently expressed “‘no confidence’ that the president will stop being advised by his daughter, Ivanka Trump, on the issue of immigration.”
Following the midterms, the not-so-sleepy sleeper cell of leftist social climbers in the Trump administration moved to pack the court. It was out with the old (Kelly and Sessions), and in with the Nauert, the reference being to the “nomination [to the UN] of former Fox anchor and State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert.”
Again, the reason for selecting Ms. Nauert, a former “Fox & Friends” host, was that she is “telegenic.” The order came from “Ms. Trump and Mr. Kushner [ who declared Nauert] ‘a favorite and pushed for her selection.’”
Telegenic, too, is 36-year-old Nick Ayers. He was slated to replace Gen. Kelly. Why? Because he “had the endorsements of Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump.”
It so happened that Ayers chose not to play. A trial balloon was quickly floated, but was punctured just as fast. The idea that Jared would be chief of staff was just too preposterous. But oh, the audacity of that fleeting experiment!
So, here we are. The promised land (America) is without the promised Wall. But, liberal legislation in hand, the “Honorable” Kushners (so listed) are off to hobnob at the World Economic Forum in Davos, in January of 2019.
First Lady Melania has been shoved aside, or ceremonially shivved, to use prison parlance. The first couple in-waiting will get to press flesh with local and global elites, while flashing their liberal credentials: criminal justice reform.
Oh how fun it is to schmooze the gilded globalists, rather than to woo Trump voters.
Ilana Mercerhas been writing a weekly,paleolibertarian column since 1999. She is the author of “Into the Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons for America From Post-Apartheid South Africa” (2011) & “The Trump Revolution: The Donald’s Creative Destruction Deconstructed” (June, 2016). She’s on Twitter, Facebook,Gab&YouTube