President Trump has had a hectic six months. From strife in the West Wing to his failure to rein in the Republicans on Capitol Hill, he has had a difficult time making good on his promises to those who elected him.
Add in the entrenched Obama holdovers bent on his destruction, Democrats dedicated to eliminating him, and a compliant press more than willing to carry the water, and he has a difficult path to success.
To make things worse, the lifetime bureaucrats embedded in the system, out to protect their jobs, are eager participants in pushing back on a populist agenda foisted upon them by a rookie politician with an attitude.
While Trump’s history of making deals in the business world is well known, the political scene in Washington is bigger than, and different from, the real estate market.
Even with his successes in the international world of high finance, making deals with the power brokers in the national political machine is an entirely different proposition. His work is cut out for him.
Through fits and starts, the President has accomplished some big things, though mostly through the power of the presidency. But executive orders can only do so much.
Ultimately, he must persuade the rusted parts in the government machine to go along with their own overhaul. This is a power they won’t willingly cede to someone they see as not one of them.
The leaks of inside information, combined with the incessant attempts to undermine him by Obama administration holdovers and lifetime intelligence officials has lit fires of doubt around his administration.
The shakeup in the White House staff is a response to this multi-front push back. The heat of battle has taken its toll on the insiders. The Trump team, created in an attempt to mollify the many Never Trumpers in the Republican establishment, has shown the inevitable fractures of a motley crew.
Known for his ability to adapt to changing circumstances, the President has decided to make a change. Again. But this time, he is getting serious.
He is clearly disenchanted with Congress, sick of a rebellious judiciary, tired of infighting among disparate forces in the West Wing, and utterly disgusted with what he believes is a dishonest press.
His latest move (and his most important) is to change his high command structure to deal with this reality. No more freestyle tactics and confused battle plans. The opposing army is too big, too entrenched and too organized to be overcome in this way.
In comes an accomplished Marine General, John Kelly. Trump has clearly decided to get someone to take charge of his central command. He has promised him full authority over the people and the procedures of his inner circle.
What remains to be seen is whether the President is capable of delegating enough authority to get things done efficiently and effectively. He’s a good boss, but can he be a good leader? That remains to be seen.
He was elected to do things differently, breaking rules and destroying some china along the way. He’s certainly done that. Now is the time for the President to learn from his on-the-job experience.
Can the President conjure up the discipline to defeat the corrupt political machine? If he assembles the right team, lets them do their jobs, and serves his critical role of making the big decisions and selling the mission to the people who elected him, he just might succeed.
Bringing in a no-nonsense military leader to herd the cats is a critical first step. With an entire world of established political power dedicated to his destruction, he needs some heavy artillery.
But the alternative is to live with global governance, corrupt bureaucracies and powerful elites. No matter how much Trump may offend and mystify, he may be the nation’s great, last hope for change. That’s why he was elected.
He was sent to drain the swamp. Cleaning a swamp takes time. It’s messy. No one will walk away without scars, stains and stench. It’s a fact of life in today’s world of big government and centralized power.
If you’re fine with the way things are, and you want more of it for your children, you will probably want to oppose and demonize the new sheriff in town.
If you want change, you must accept and support the bull in the china shop. To quote from Blazing Saddles, you will “extend a laurel and hardy handshake to the new sheriff”. And to his deputy.
He rode a blazing saddle, he wore a shining star
His job to offer battle to bad men near and far
He conquered fear and he conquered hate
He turned dark night into day
He made his blazing saddle a torch to light the way
When outlaws rule the west, and fear fills the land
A cry went up for a man with guts to take the west in hand
They needed a man who was brave and true with justice for all as his aim
Then out of the sun rode a man with a gun
And Bart was his name, yes Bart was his name