July 24, 2016

IF YOU REALLY BELIEVE THAT “the bureaucracy is the front line of defense against executive abuses,” then I think you should favor a Trump presidency, as the bureaucrats — allied with the press, of course — will do more to check misbehavior by Trump than they’ll ever conceivably do to check misbehavior by Hillary. And certainly much more than they’ve done with Obama, who has weaponized the IRS, the EPA, the Department of Justice, and a host of other federal agencies, all the way down to the Park Service, with barely a peep from within the bureaucracy.

So what people worry about with Trump has already happened under Obama. And that’s part of the problem. Obama broke down and devalued a lot of political traditions in this country, to very little objection from the parts of the political class that matter. That opened up a hole for Trump. My main positive expectation for a Trump presidency is that he will remind people of why those political traditions were important.