When I was a young lieutenant in the 325th Airborne Battalion Combat Team (ABCT) in Vicenza, Italy we had a saying: “beware the black Chinook.” When a lieutenant did something rather boneheaded — and yes, I hear all the former NCOs out there laughing — they would somehow come up missing. Our battalion commander had a way of transferring young officers who didn’t meet the standard, and it happened quickly. And it appears at the Trump White House, Marine Corps-1 isn’t the only helicopter that lands. There’s also a landing zone for the infamous “Black Chinook” that only picks up folks, and it seems to happen particularly on Friday.
And so it was, the news came last Friday – again — that President Trump’s Chief Strategist, Steve Bannon, had been relieved of his duties, resigned, dismissed, fired, sent home. Whatever you wanted to call it, the Black Chinook had landed.
Funny, I recently saw an early Trump Oval Office picture, there was the president, the vice president, and four other individuals for whom the Black Chinook had manifested — LTG Michael Flynn, Sean Spicer, Reince Priebus, and now Steve Bannon. That’s what I call a pretty hefty personnel turnover in your first seven months.
And after each departure there’s been much pundit prognostication and assessment, but the departure of Steve Bannon is the most interesting. “Nutty” Nancy Pelosi and Maxine “Mad Max” Waters tend to believe there are white supremacists running all over the White House — hardly the case. But, within hours of departing, Mr. Bannon was back at Breitbart and had reassumed his leading role.
He issued an interesting message that conveys the real meaning behind his departure. He stated, “The Trump presidency that we fought for, and won, is over,” Bannon said Friday, shortly after confirming his departure. “We still have a huge movement, and we will make something of this Trump presidency. But that presidency is over. It’ll be something else. And there’ll be all kinds of fights, and there’ll be good days and bad days, but that presidency is over.”
Those words say it all, and I’ve been watching folks all this past weekend fumbling all over themselves trying to explain this. Y’all know me, so I’ll cut right to the chase.
What Mr. Bannon means is the presidency that was won back in November 2016 was one for the “forgotten man and woman.” It was one many believed would restore America-first principles and values, that of a Constitutional Republic, its sovereignty, and its rule of law. It was believed that the establishment swamp would be drained and servant leadership would be restored to Washington DC, as opposed to self-serving and special interest promotion.
We hear so many talk about the “Trump agenda,” but what does that really mean, and is anyone on board with it? Constitutional conservatives believe in limited federal government, fiscal responsibility, individual liberty, free market/free enterprise economy, and a strong national defense.
Of course, the delusional progressive socialist left would call that extreme, and even some Republicans run away from those principles, but we were all under the assumption that was where the Trump presidency was heading.
But ask yourself today, who are the constitutional conservatives in the Trump White House? Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, and son-in-law Jared Kushner, are well known liberal progressives, yet they have a close ear of President Trump. Economic adviser, Gary Cohn, is certainly not known for being a conservative – as a matter of fact, he’s another New York liberal progressive. Secretary of the Treasury, Steve Mnuchin… well, sometimes I don’t know if he knows what he is, but he certainly hasn’t advanced a conservative tax reform policy, if any policy at all.
God bless him, but Secretary of Defense General James Mattis wanted the person Hillary Clinton had pegged for her SecDef, Michele Flournoy, as his Deputy Secretary of Defense, and many of the DoD positions are being filled with former defense industry executives and lobbyists — some kind of swamp draining.
And if you want to know the direction that Mr. Bannon’s Breitbart will be taking, just read this past weekend’s piece by Aaron Klein on National Security Adviser, LTG H.R. McMaster. And there’s no doubt that LTG McMaster has a completely different national security vision from President Trump — case in point, the Iran nuclear deal.
The Trump White House is now one of NYC liberal progressives and Obama holdovers. This is what Mr. Bannon meant by his assertion of a certain presidency being over. I would expect some others to be looking to the skies for the Black Chinook — those individuals would be Dr. Sebastian Gorka, Stephen Miller, and sadly, we haven’t been seeing much of Kellyanne Conway recently.
Yes, I understand a campaign is different from running the nation, but fundamental principles are important. I wish I could say I have, but I’ve never heard President Trump speak on the values of the Founding Fathers and our Constitution. I’ve never seen him tweet about the value of free market principles and how his policies will reinforce that belief. My concern is that we may never hear statements to that effect.
The outward appearance and perception, is that the swamp has won and President Trump will move further away from what enabled him to pull off an incredible upset victory. The liberal progressive left has done a fine job in denigrating and disparaging that which it fears…liberty and freedom of the common American citizen.
And there are even Republicans who’ve joined sides with the liberal progressive leftists in thwarting what American people voted for last November. There’s been a slip in President Trump’s base of support — hence why he’s heading out for a campaign-style rally in Arizona. The recent lunacy of the left and their assault against statues and monuments somewhat stabilized President Trump’s support. But it’s the policy direction of this White House which should cause concern. And this is what Mr. Bannon has brought to our attention with his statement. Where does the Trump White House go from here?
President Trump is a different type of political figure in that he’s never really embraced or expounded upon his philosophy of governance. He’s shown himself to be a populist and a showman who is adept in the moment. But any leader needs guiding principles and values. Let’s hope President Donald J. Trump isn’t about to demonstrate that he’s just like all the rest: another politician saying what’s necessary to get elected.
Do I think Mr. Bannon’s position will be filled? Nope.
The real meaning behind Mr. Bannon’s departure is that no one really knows what President Trump’s agenda is. But we do know those closest to him do not share an ideological philosophy of governance consistent with Constitutional Conservatism.