News & Politics

Donald Trump's Cabinet Is Starting to Become as GOPe as They Come

Steven Mnuchin, President-elect Donald Trump's choice for Treasury Secretary, arrives at Trump Tower, in New York, Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2016. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Iowa talk radio host Steve Deace asks a valid, important question on Twitter:

As I write this, the poll is basically 50/50. I clearly fall on the “true” side of the debate. All of Trump’s appointments have been members of the GOPe. Steven Terner Mnuchin, Trump’s pick for Treasury secretary, is the best example. He’s a Goldman Sachs banker. That’s the same bank Trump supporters blasted all throughout the campaign. They even went after Heidi Cruz, Senator Ted Cruz’s wife, because of her ties to the bank.

There can be little doubt that a true-blood member of the Republican Party’s elite — such as Jeb Bush — would have appointed someone like Mnuchin, possibly even Mnuchin himself, to this position. And that goes for more of Trump’s appointments (Reince Priebus as chief of staff, for example).

The only exception is Senator Jeff Sessions, but he’s probably going to be Trump’s attorney general not because he’s a conservative border hawk, but because he supported Trump from day one. In other words, it’s a reward for services rendered, not for being a conservative stalwart. It’s purely coincidental that conservatives are happy with the choice.

Other than Sessions, every single pick thus far would be similar to the team Jeb Bush and other GOPe candidates would’ve put together. That will especially be the case if Trump decides to shock everybody by selecting Mitt Romney for secretary of State. Say “welcome back to the Bush era,” folks!

The question, however, is whether that’s as big of a problem as many Trump supporters and principled conservatives may think. Certainly, most of these individuals aren’t as conservatives as we’d all like, but let’s face it: Trump could’ve done much worse. The man has no set political values. He could’ve nominated one Democrat after another as far as I’m concerned and I wouldn’t have been surprised. That he opts for regular, mainstream Republicans isn’t great for the conservative movement, but it’s not detrimental to it either. At the very least you know that the new cabinet will sometimes be wrong, but also sometimes be right. That’s a tremendous improvement over the Obama years, which were, quite simply, horrible.