Archive for the ‘Trump’s first weeks as President’ category

Mexico: Blame Canada

January 31, 2017

Mexico: Blame Canada, Strategy Page, January 31, 2017

(Endemic corruption, cartels, crime, an unpopular president and other bad stuff in Mexico? It must be imperialistic America’s fault. Therefore, remittances should be encouraged and all U.S. border controls eliminated. At least Obama would agree. — DM)

The government announced it would spend $50 million to hire lawyers in the United States to defend Mexican citizens there illegally and faced with deportation. This is all about money and a lot more than $50 million. The Mexican central bank tracks how much money Mexicans abroad send home and in 2016 it was $25 billion, almost all of it from Mexicans in the United States and much of it from Mexicans in the United States illegally. That remittance cash accounts for more foreign exchange than Mexican oil exports. The remittance income is rising. It was nearly $22 billion in 2013 and is expected to rise to $28 billion in 2017, unless the United States enforces its immigration laws like Mexico does. Mexico has for decades tolerated illegal migration to the United States because the corruption and bad government in Mexico did little to provide jobs for the growing number of unemployed Mexicans and created a lot of potentially troublesome young men and women. Tolerating and, for many Mexican politicians, openly supporting the illegal migrants, was a popular policy and the government came to regard it as a right. But it was also about money and the remittances created a huge source of foreign currency flowing back to Mexico.

There’s more to it than money. After years of being accused of permitting the abuse of Central American migrants who enter Mexico the government agreed pay more attention to border security on its own southern border. Many of the illegal migrants from Central American are heading for the United States and that was not seen as a Mexican problem. But criminal gangs increasingly robbed and kidnapped the migrants and the government did very little to stop that. The gangsters often attacked Mexican citizens as well. Mexico has more severe laws against illegal immigration and illegal migrants than the U.S.  It also enforces them more vigorously than does the U. S. By mid-2014 Mexico agreed to undertake Operation Sur which was supposed to curb illegal Central American migrants from entering Mexico. Operation Sur increased surveillance operations along Mexico’s southern border and improved border inspections. The government also tried to improve registration of legal migrants. In addition to the criminals, local police forces in southern Mexico have been accused of extorting money from illegal migrants and police corruption has long been a major problem. Despite Operation Sur, Mexico did little halt illegal migration across its northern border.

All this was noticed in the U.S. and politicians there found themselves under increasing pressure to enforce American migration laws as vigorously as Mexico (and Canada) did. By 2016 that brought to power an American government that seemed serious about applying Mexican practices to illegal migrants and actually did so. That was unpopular in Mexico and will probably lead to unexpected changes inside Mexico. But the practice of blaming your northern neighbor for your problems is losing its punch even in Mexico.

January 28, 2017: Police discovered the decapitated corpses of three policemen from the town of Huimanguillo (Tabasco state). The victims were slain near the border with Veracruz state.

January 27, 2017: In the south (Yucatan state) the government announced the arrest of three men suspected of smuggling drugs for the Sinaloa cartel. One of these, Roberto Najera Gutierrez, was described as a senior cartel leader and one of cartel boss Joaquin Guzman’s top lieutenants. The other two individuals are also Sinaloa cartel operatives. Gutierrez has directed drug trafficking operations from Central American countries and he has been especially active in Chiapas and Yucatan states.

January 24, 2017: The government confirmed the January 19 arrest (in Sinaloa state) of Juan Jose Esparragoza Monzon, the son of a senior member of the Sinaloa cartel. Monzon is suspected of investing cartel funds in real estate in Mexico as well as being involved in violent crimes in Baja California state.

January 23, 2017: Colima state had 607 murders in 2016 versus 189 in 2015. That is a 220 percent increase. A turf war between the Sinaloa and Jalisco New Generation cartels is engulfing the state, with the seaport of Manzanillo the prize. Around 700,000 people live in Colima. The 2016 summary was announced just before state security officials said it believed that that Jalisco New Generation cartel gunmen were responsible for the murders of a dozen people in the state between January 19 and 23. Seven headless corpses were found near Manzanillo on January 21.

January 19, 2017: The government announced that Sinaloa cartel commander Joaquin Guzman had been extradited to the U.S. Media called the unexpectedly rapid extradition a “surprise.” In U.S. federal court in New York Guzman pled not guilty to a 17-count indictment. He faces narcotics trafficking and money laundering charges. He is also accused of ordering murders and kidnappings in the U.S.

January 17, 2017: Oil theft continues to plague the national oil company, Pemex. Attempts to sue U.S. oil companies that sold stolen petroleum products have not been successful. Pemex lost a lawsuit in December 2016 that ultimately involved 23 U.S. companies and several individuals. It was trying to recover money from the sale of stolen products. Cartels sell the stolen oil and (in some cases) refined products to all buyers, including buyers in the U.S. Pemex’s suit failed because the defendants successfully argued they did not know the oil was stolen.

January 16, 2017: Government once again said that foreign companies should not fear investing in Mexico due to fear of violence.

January 14, 2017: A Mexican federal court ordered a drug lord to pay around $1 million in indemnities for the 1985 murders of a Mexican pilot and a U.S. DEA agent. The criminal ordered to pay was identified as Ernesto Fonseca Carrillo, a co-founder of the Guadalajara cartel. The murdered DEA agent was Enrique Camarena and his family will receive around $465,000.

January 11, 2017: The price of tortillas is once again increasing. They have gone up almost 20 percent in the last six months. When the price of corn and other staple goods increase, the government faces instant criticism. For the record, the price of eggs and milk has also spiked. President Enrique Pena’s poll ratings are already miserable. The majority of Mexican citizens believes his government is corrupt. Pena is trying to blame macro-economic and a new administration in the U.S. Fuel prices have increased and the peso has slipped against the dollar.

January 10, 2017: Security official said that police used surveillance photos from a parking lot to identify and then arrest Zia Zafar. Is accused of shooting and wounding U.S. consular official in Guadalajara on January 6. Zafar is a U.S. citizen from California and was extradited to the U.S. on January 9.

January 8, 2016: Protests continue over the rise in gas and diesel prices. Prices have increased 20 percent since January 1 when the government began reducing fuel subsidies. Authorities now estimate 1,500 people have been arrested for looting businesses and attacking gas stations.

January 6, 2017: Police in Ciudad Juarez broke up a gas price increase protest demonstration that tried to block the international bridge to El Paso, Texas. On the evening of January 5 demonstrators occupied customs offices on the international bridge. A government spokesman in Mexico City said that at least four people have died in violence related to gasoline price increase protests.

Los Zetas cartel gunmen ambushed a senior state prosecutor and three police officers in Tamaulipas state. Ricardo Martinez Chavez was the regional director of the Tamaulipas Attorney General’s Office. The attack occurred near the town of Nuevo Laredo.

January 2, 2016: Protests against the increase in fuels prices are spreading throughout the country. The fuel price increase kicked in on January 1 and the violence began on January 2nd. The government is trying to create a competitive energy market. Protestors are using the term “gasolinazo” to describe their gripe. The term translates as “gasoline-punch.” A group of protestors in Mexico City noted that President Enrique Pena promised that prices would drop after competition was introduced. However, in the initial phases of the program, prices are increasing.

December 31, 2016: The government is saying that reports are false that gunmen in the Jalisco New Generation Cartel threatened to burn down gas stations to protest impending price increases. However, for some 24 hours the claim raced around the internet and the Jalisco Attorney Generals Office began an investigation of the allegation.

December 30, 2016: Los Zetas cartel gunmen in Nuevo Laredo kidnapped four Mexican citizens who had just been deported from the U.S. The four men were rescued by Mexican Army soldiers who stormed the house where the victims were being held for ransom.

You’re Fired!

January 31, 2017

You’re Fired! Front Page MagazineMatthew Vadum, January 31, 2017

(Please see also Trump Fires Acting Attorney General. There Prof. Turley explains why President Trump was right to fire the acting Attorney General. 

Trump clearly has the right to fire Yates.  Indeed, Yates’ action (and rationale) contradicts long-standing Justice Department policies on such issues.

— DM)

sfg

President Trump last night fired the insubordinate acting Attorney General Sally Yates after she ordered federal prosecutors to ignore Trump’s lawful emergency executive order restricting travel and immigration from Islamic terrorist-infested nations.

The Yates termination may foreshadow a major house-cleaning at the U.S. Department of Justice. That agency is overrun by left-wing careerists who have no respect for the rule of law and who operate under the legally and morally grotesque assumption that aliens, including suspected terrorists, ought to enjoy all the same rights as U.S. citizens.

Yates “has betrayed the Department of Justice by refusing to enforce a legal order designed to protect the citizens of the United States,” Trump said in a press release. “This order was approved as to form and legality by the Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel.”

He called Yates “an Obama Administration appointee who is weak on borders and very weak on illegal immigration.”

“It is time to get serious about protecting our country,” Trump continued. “Calling for tougher vetting for individuals travelling from seven dangerous places is not extreme. It is reasonable and necessary to protect our country.”

Last night President Trump also relieved acting Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director Daniel Ragsdale of his duties. No reason for the decision had been reported at press time. The new acting ICE director is Thomas D. Homan who has been executive associate director of ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) since 2013.

When the U.S. Senate was considering Yates’s nomination for deputy attorney general in 2015, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama), whose nomination as attorney general is pending in the Senate, made his opposition known. According to Politico, Sessions “urged his colleagues to defeat Yates” objecting “to what he said was her involvement in defending the federal government against a lawsuit 26 states have filed challenging unilateral actions Obama took in November to grant millions of illegal immigrants quasi-legal status and work permits.” Sessions described the Obama actions as “presidential overreach.”

Hours before Trump ended Yates’s employment, Yates  took the extraordinary step of directing Justice Department attorneys to refuse to defend Trump’s executive order in court.

“I am responsible for ensuring that the positions we take in court remain consistent with this institution’s solemn obligation to always seek justice and stand for what is right,” she wrote in a letter to lawyers at the Department of Justice. “At present, I am not convinced that the defense of the executive order is consistent with these responsibilities nor am I convinced that the executive order is lawful.”

“Consequently, for as long as I am the acting attorney general, the Department of Justice will not present arguments in defense of the executive order, unless and until I become convinced that it is appropriate to do so,” she wrote.

Yates’s tenure as acting attorney general ended around dinnertime last night. Around 9 p.m. the president replaced her with Dana Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia.

Boente will serve in the post “until Senator Jeff Sessions is finally confirmed by the Senate, where he is being wrongly held up by Democrat senators for strictly political reasons,” Trump said.

Harvard Law professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz described Yates as “a terrific public servant” who “made a serious mistake here.”

“This is holdover heroism,” he said. “It’s so easy to be a heroine when you’re not appointed by this president and when you’re on the other side.”

Reaction on Twitter was predictably ridiculous.

Unsurprisingly, the nearly-impeached former Attorney General Eric Holder expressed support for Yates.

Holder tweeted last night, “Sally Yates: person of integrity/attorney with great legal skill. Has served this nation with distinction. Her judgment should be trusted.”

Leftist column writer and Obama idolator E.J. Dionne tweeted, “Monday Night Massacre: Trump fires Sally Yates, Acting AG who refused to defend his indefensible #MuslimBan. History will remember her well.”

Football player Rob Carpenter tweeted, “AG upholds the law. Dictator wanna be says you don’t agree with me. You’re fired.”

Actor Jason Alexander tweeted, “King Trump fired the Attorney General. So law and constitution, which he sworn on a bible to protect now clearly mean nothing. Like truth.”

Yates may have a lucrative career ahead of her on the public speaking circuit. Maybe MSNBC will give her a talk show. The Left takes care of its own.

All of this drama flows from the executive order President Trump signed Friday that suspends travel from Muslim terrorism-plagued countries.

The executive order blocks visas for 90 days for “immigrants and non-immigrants” from the terrorism-producing Muslim-majority countries of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Sudan, and Yemen.

The order also prevents refugees from entering the U.S. for 120 days, indefinitely halts the entry of Syrian refugees, and adjusts downward the cap on refugee admission into the U.S. to 50,000 during the current federal fiscal year which ends Sept. 30, 2017.

The presidential directive also requires the government to keep Americans informed about terrorism-related activities and crimes committed by foreign nationals in the U.S. and to report on the individuals’ immigration status.

Critics have mischaracterized the executive order as a Muslim immigration and travel ban. It is an odd critique given that the three countries with the largest Muslim populations –Indonesia, Pakistan, and India– aren’t included in the order.

Groups funded by radical financier George Soros are behind a lawsuit challenging the order.

On Saturday evening Obama-appointed Judge Ann M. Donnelly of the Eastern District of New York blocked part of the executive order and prevented the Trump administration from deporting arrivals detained in airports across the nation. The restraining order preserves the status quo for those who arrived in the country shortly after the executive order was signed if they have visas or lawful permanent resident status.

Before Donnelly’s narrowly drawn restraining order was issued Saturday evening, near-riots broke out as leftist freak shows descended on airports across America. Demonstrators were horrified that some individuals were actually being detained at ports-of-entry as required by the president’s 100 percent legal and constitutional executive order. The left-wing hissy-fit consisted of radicals trespassing and endangering airport security by staging disruptive in-your-face protests at airports around the country.

The HAMAS-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is playing a major role in the protests against the executive order, Lee Stranahan reports at Breitbart. The group has been organizing demonstrations and promoting opposition to the order on social media. The United Arab Emirates has declared CAIR a terrorist organization.

To no one’s surprise, former President Barack Obama praised the airport protesters, saying through a spokesman he was “heartened by the level of engagement taking place in communities around the country.”

“Citizens exercising their Constitutional right to assemble, organize and have their voices heard by the elected officials is exactly what we expect to see when American values are at stake,” the spokesman said Monday.

Obama intends to conduct his own shadow presidency and attack the Trump administration for years to come. The former president has rented a fancy house on Embassy Row in the nation’s capital that is expected to serve as his anti-Trump administration war room.

Failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton (D) tweeted Saturday night, “I stand with the people gathered across the country tonight defending our values & our Constitution. This is not who we are.”

Meanwhile, although left-wing law professor Jonathan Turley said he disagrees on policy grounds with Trump’s executive order he argues it is nonetheless legally bulletproof.

“The law does favor President Trump in this regard,” Turley said Sunday on CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria GPS” show. “I don’t like this order. I think it’s a terrible mistake — but that doesn’t go into the legal analysis. The Court has been extremely deferential to presidents on the border.”

The courts won’t buy the left-wing talking point that the order constitutes a ban on Muslim travel and immigration, Turley explained.

“I do not believe a federal court will view this as a Muslim ban,” he said.

I don’t think the court can. Regardless of what the court may think of President Trump’s motivations, the fact that other Muslim countries are not included is going to move that off the table and what’s going to be left is whether the president has this type of authority. Historically, courts have said that he does.

Americans who want their country back after eight years of Obama-created lawlessness don’t need to get upset at the chaos left-wingers are trying to generate to undermine President Trump.

In this case the law is on their side.

Law and Order Returns to the Border

January 26, 2017

Law and Order Returns to the Border, Front Page MagazineJoseph Klein, January 26, 2017

trump4

President Donald Trump is doing something incredibly rare for a politician in Washington, D.C. He is keeping his word. Two of the most important of his campaign promises were to stem the flow of illegal immigrants into this country and to suspend the admission of “refugees” from countries prone to terrorism until a system of “extreme vetting” is put into place. On Tuesday night, President Trump tweeted out a teaser: “Big day planned on NATIONAL SECURITY tomorrow. Among many other things, we will build the wall!”

After eight long years of Obama administration policies that endangered the security of the American people, President Trump is placing Americans first — before illegal aliens and self-declared “refugees” from terrorist prone countries. 

The president began fulfilling his promises on immigration by signing two executive orders on Wednesday at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), whose responsibilities include overseeing immigration and border security. Mr. Trump also took part in a ceremony installing his new Secretary of Homeland Security, retired Marine General John Kelly. In his remarks following the signing, President Trump emphasized that DHS is a “law enforcement agency.” He added that “beginning today, the United States gets back control of its borders.”

The first executive order he signed redirected funds already appropriated by Congress towards paying for the construction of the border wall he has promised between Mexico and the United States. Additional funding appropriations will be required from Congress for completion of the project. However, President Trump still intends that Mexico will ultimately reimburse U.S. taxpayers for the expenditures through one means or another, including possibly redirecting monies presently slotted for foreign aid to Mexico or using revenue from border taxes. President Trump’s action came on the same day that Mexico’s foreign minister, Luis Videgaray, was due to arrive in Washington to help prepare for the visit of Mexico’s President Enrique Pena Nieto later this month.

The order would end the “catch-and-release” policies the Obama administration utilized, under which illegals awaiting removal hearings were released. More detention facilities along the border are planned for construction. According to Immigration and Custom Enforcement figures cited by Fox News, 179,040 of the 925,193 illegal immigrants who have evaded a scheduled deportation had criminal convictions.

The Trump administration is anticipating roadblocks put in its way by legal challenges, including activists’ exploitation of environmental laws to block construction of the wall. However, the administration should be able to prevail and move forward expeditiously. The REAL ID Act of 2005 gives the Secretary of Homeland Security “the authority to waive all legal requirements such Secretary, in such Secretary’s sole discretion, determines necessary to ensure expeditious construction of the barriers and roads” along U.S. borders. Federal district courts have exclusive jurisdiction to hear challenges to the Secretary of Homeland Security’s determination, but a “cause of action or claim may only be brought alleging a violation of the Constitution of the United States.” Melinda Taylor, an environmental law professor with the University of Texas, said, “The new administration has a wild card they can pull and it’s in this law. The language in this law allows them to waive all federal laws that would be an impediment to building any type of physical barrier along the border, including a wall.” Actually, “the authority to waive all legal requirements” in the statute would extend to state and local laws and regulations, as well as federal laws. The president’s constitutional authority derives from his fundamental constitutional duty to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed” – in this case, the nation’s existing immigration laws.

President Trump signed a second executive order addressing the so-called “sanctuary cities,” which have been openly defying federal immigration law enforcement. They may face the loss of certain federal funding if they continue their 21st century version of segregationist Governor George Wallace’s “stand in the schoolhouse door” in opposition to federally mandated school desegregation.

The orders also call for beefing up the number of U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents used to apprehend migrants at the border and to arrest and deport illegal immigrants already living in the United States. The priority will be to identify for deportation illegal aliens in this country with a criminal record and to provide the State Department with additional tools to pressure countries to take back illegal immigrant criminals whom originally came from those countries.

Notably, neither immigration executive order sought to penalize the so-called “Dreamers.” President Trump has not yet rescinded Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals executive action. President Trump made his priorities clear in his DHS remarks, declaring “we’re going to get the bad ones out.” To put a human face on what he intended to accomplish, President Trump took time out during his remarks at DHS to recognize several parents who have had to endure the grief over their children killed by illegal immigrants. “They will always be remembered,” he said.

In his DHS remarks, President Trump also mentioned how he planned coordination and partnership with Mexico to save lives on both sides of the border. He said that the wall and actions to break up the drug cartels would help keep drugs and guns from flowing between the United States and Mexico. What a relief from the days of Operation Fast and Furious, when the Obama administration’s botched gunrunning sting allowed guns into Mexico that the Obama administration lost track of. U.S. border patrol agent Brian Terry may well have been killed by one of those guns.

In addition to the immigration executive orders, President Trump is planning later in the week to sign an executive order drastically reducing the number of refugees overall who are admitted to the United States for resettlement. It would also suspend the admission of refugees from “terrorist prone” countries such as Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen, pending the institution of an effective “extreme vetting” process. Procedures for granting visas to residents from those countries will also be carefully re-examined. While leftists and other pro-Islamists will undoubtedly cry foul and may go to court in an effort to overturn this executive order as allegedly discriminating against Muslims on religious grounds, President Trump’s action is well within his legal authority. Refugees and visitors from other countries deemed dangerous by the president acting in his capacity as commander in chief should not have a constitutional right to enter the United States anyway.

“From a legal standpoint, it would be exactly within his legal rights,” said Stephen Legomsky, who was chief counsel at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services in the Obama administration and currently a professor at Washington University School of Law in St. Louis. Legomsky went on to say that he disagreed with President Trump’s planned suspension action from a public policy perspective “because there is such an urgent humanitarian need right now for refugees.” However, the Obama administration in which he served was discriminatory in its own “humanitarian” outreach to self-declared “refugees.” It virtually ignored the truly persecuted Christian minority population seeking an escape from genocide, and favored instead the one group of migrants from the Middle East who needed refugee protection the least– Sunni Muslims. Moreover, the Obama administration had no vetting procedures in place to ensure that some of these Sunni Muslims were not bringing their Wahhabi jihadist ideology with them.

Former President Obama put Americans’ lives in danger by his ill-advised immigration and refugee policies. He also released scores of suspected terrorists from Guantanamo Bay despite at least a 30 percent recidivist rate. President Trump, by contrast, is showing that he means what he says in making the protection of the American people his first priority.

What Happens Next?

January 18, 2017

What Happens Next?, PJ Media, Roger Kimball, January 18, 2017

swearingintrumprehearsalJanuary 15, 2017: a rehearsal of President-elect Donald Trump’s swearing-in ceremony in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

What we may be witnessing is a national reconfiguration — Piereson calls it America’s fourth revolution — in which the elite, pantywaist consensus of the Left is giving way to something more traditional, more manly, more rugged. I don’t expect this transition to be painless or to happen without a measure of hysteria from the skirling feminized cadres of the disintegrating consensus.  But unless they succeed in destroying Donald Trump in the opening months of his administration, they are destined, like the Whigs of yore, to recede into querulous obscurity.

*********************************

Those who are ignorant of history, George Santayana remarked, are condemned to repeat it. It’s not quite true, of course.

Santayana’s elder tradesman, Heraclitus, was right when he said that you cannot step into the same river twice. Whether or not you know anything about it, history, that great river, keeps meandering on. It does not double back.

But Santayana’s oft-quoted remark does have a salutary invigorating effect. Much like that “self-evident half-truth” (as the philosopher Harvey Mansfield put it) that “all men are created equal,” Santayana’s admonition might well exert, on susceptible souls, the goad to learn more about mankind’s adventure in time, which is a good thing. There are patterns to be observed, continuities (and discontinuities) noted, metabolisms of power registered and understood. So even if Santayana overstated the case, the failure to study history — for a culture as well as for individuals — is a sort of existential threat.

Or, to put it positively, a study of history is a prophylactic learning experience.

One of the things one learns, I believe, is that Karl Marx was not always wrong. For example, when he amends Hegel’s declaration that history repeats itself, Marx notes “he forgot to add, the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce.”

It tells us something about Marx that the only two choices he he can envision are tragedy and farce. Is there no tertium quid?

Perhaps we are about to find out.

Hysteria tends to feed on itself, so it is no surprise that the #NeverTrump/#AntiTrump brigades have been vying to outdo one another in histrionics. Hundreds of thousands of protestors are about to descend upon Washington, D.C., to dispute the results of an open, democratic election. In many cases, the antics remind one of nothing so much as a distraught toddler who follows his mother around the house and falls down in a tantrum whenever he has her attention. It’s funny when it’s a two-year-old. When the source of the tantrums are in their 20s, 30s, and 40s, it is still funny, but also pathetic.

Still, it is worth noting that the minatory rhetoric seems to increase in volume daily. One example: a group called “DisruptJ20” aims to “shut down the inauguration.” David Thurston, a spokesman for the group, stated: “We want to see a seething rebellion develop in this city and across the country.”

Does he have any idea what he is talking about? What about the long tradition in this country of the peaceful transfer of power? “We are not in favor of a peaceful transition of power,” Legba Carrefour, another “DisruptJ20 representative, said. He added: “[W]e need to stop it.”

What are we to make of such melodrama? Are we living through a reprise of 1968? Or, as some have suggested, of 1860, when the country descended into civil war?

As I write, 47 Democratic congressmen have announced that they plan to “boycott” the inauguration (John Lewis doesn’t count: he boycotted when George W. Bush was elected, too, as no Republican is “legitimate” for that race-baiting charlatan).

Meanwhile, we are told that the legacy media are preparing for “war” with Donald Trump, with reporters “put on a war footing.”

Of course, you see something of this every time a recognizably conservative figure wins the presidency. It happened to Reagan. It happened to W. If it seems more extreme this time around, it is partly because Trump and his coalition are offering much stiffer resistance to the forces that would destroy them.

The Left blamed Hurricane Katrina on George Bush. He ought to have done a King Canute and humiliated them into silence. Instead, he meekly retreated. Trump doesn’t do meek retreat and neither, I suspect, do those who put him in the White House. As Victor Davis Hanson noted in City Journal a few days ago, “one irony of the 2016 election is that identity politics became a lethal boomerang for progressives”:

After years of seeing America reduced to a binary universe, with culpable white Christian males encircled by ascendant noble minorities, gays, feminists, and atheists — usually led by courageous white-male progressive crusaders — red-state America decided that two could play the identity-politics game. In 2016, rural folk did silently in the voting booth what urban America had done to them so publicly in countless sitcoms, movies, and political campaigns.

The establishment GOP still has its knickers in a twist, but Trump and his supporters understand the wisdom of the old French adage:

Cet animal est très méchant,

Quand on l’attaque il se défend.

“This animal is very strange: when one attacks it, it defends itself.”

This is not to deny, as Andy McCarthy pointed out recently, that the Left tends to be better at shaping The Narrative, the public perception of political reality, than the GOP. Part of their success these last eight years has been the collusion of the Obama administration in furthering their chosen Narrative — on Benghazi, on the “bitter clingers,” on the “deplorables,” and more. That critical support — from the DOJ to the IRS to the EPA and the Department of Education — will be withdrawn in two days, two hours, and six five minutes.

The question then will be whether the legacy media, the Code Pink crowd, and the Deep State elite can sustain an effective opposition by themselves. At this stage, I think, it is an open question.

If Trump gets his cabinet picks, if he comes into office and unleashes a blitzkrieg of promised reforms, I suspect the opposition, after a period of fletus et stridor dentium (Matthew 13:50), will subside into pathetic irrelevance.

That’s a big “if,” I understand, but as of Wednesday, January 18, 2017, Trump seems firmly in command and poised to make America great again.

In his book Shattered Consensus, James Piereson points out that America has tended to have not a two-party system but rather a “one and one-half party system consisting of a ‘regime party’ and a competitor forced to adapt to its dominant position.” These competitors, he writes — the Whigs in the 1840s, the Democrats after the Civil War, and the Republicans in the post-war era — occasionally won national elections, but only after accepting the legitimacy of the basic political themes established by the regime party.

What we may be witnessing is a national reconfiguration — Piereson calls it America’s fourth revolution — in which the elite, pantywaist consensus of the Left is giving way to something more traditional, more manly, more rugged. I don’t expect this transition to be painless or to happen without a measure of hysteria from the skirling feminized cadres of the disintegrating consensus.  But unless they succeed in destroying Donald Trump in the opening months of his administration, they are destined, like the Whigs of yore, to recede into querulous obscurity.

It cannot happen soon enough.

A Message from President-Elect Donald J. Trump

November 22, 2016

A Message from President-Elect Donald J. Trump, Transition 2017 via YouTube, November 21, 2016

Trump can eviscerate Obama’s policies by dropping lawsuits, revoking memos

November 11, 2016

Trump can eviscerate Obama’s policies by dropping lawsuits, revoking memos, Washington Times, Stephen Dinan, November 11, 2016

trumpandbammyPresident Barack Obama meets with President-elect Donald Trump in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Forget about waiting for Congress — Donald Trump can eviscerate Obamacare and cripple President Obama’s global warming framework all on his first few days in office by directing policy from the White House and ordering his Justice Department to drop lawsuits that the current administration is pursuing.

Lawyers said getting rid of the government’s mandate that schools allow transgender students to choose their bathrooms could be as simple as retracting an Education Department letter, then letting judges know that is no longer the administration’s position.

Mr. Obama’s 2014 deportation amnesty, which is also the subject of court challenges, could be nixed by revoking the Homeland Security memo that laid out the policy, then telling judges it’s gone. No memo, no case.

It was always the danger lurking in Mr. Obama’s penchant for going it alone and declining to work with Congress — a new president who disagrees with him can quickly reverse many of his big-ticket accomplishments.

“What Obama’s pen and phone giveth, Trump’s Sharpie and Twitter will taketh away,” said Josh Blackman, an associate professor at the South Texas College of Law.

While repealing Obamacare outright would take congressional action, several controversial provisions could quickly be halted. The administration’s ongoing fight with Catholic nuns and other religious charities, demanding that they play a role in opting out of paying for contraceptives, could end.

It was always the danger lurking in Mr. Obama’s penchant for going it alone and declining to work with Congress — a new president who disagrees with him can quickly reverse many of his big-ticket accomplishments.

“What Obama’s pen and phone giveth, Trump’s Sharpie and Twitter will taketh away,” said Josh Blackman, an associate professor at the South Texas College of Law.

While repealing Obamacare outright would take congressional action, several controversial provisions could quickly be halted. The administration’s ongoing fight with Catholic nuns and other religious charities, demanding that they play a role in opting out of paying for contraceptives, could end.

Even bigger damage could be done to the House of Representatives’ lawsuit arguing that the administration broke the law by paying out Obamacare money that Congress specifically refused to spend.

A district court ruled this year that the administration violated the Constitution by doling out the money despite Congress’ wishes. The Obama administration has appealed, and the lower court judge’s ruling is on hold, but a Trump administration could drop that appeal.

“In this case, the withdrawal of the appeal would effectively accomplish what the Trump administration would likely support,” said Jonathan Turley, a professor at George Washington Law School who is serving as the House’s attorney in the case.

On the environment, rules from the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers governing power plants’ carbon emissions and water runoff could also get the heave-ho from a Trump Justice Department that decides they aren’t worth defending.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican, said he hoped that would happen quickly. “Day One would be a good idea,” he told reporters.

There is precedent for making those kinds of decisions. Mr. Turley pointed to the Obama administration’s refusal to defend in courts the Defense of Marriage Act, which was enacted by Congress and signed by President Clinton.

“Changes in policy or presidents can result in substantial changes in the posture of litigation,” Mr. Turley said. “That’s a perfectly natural process, particularly when you have such a radical change in administrations. There’s no reason why one administration should pursue a policy initiative in court that they now oppose.”

Mr. Turley said Mr. Trump could even ask the Obama administration to request that judges halt the cases for now, to give the next administration a chance to have its say.

“Much of President Obama’s legacy stands on clay feet. The vast majority of his cited accomplishments were unilateral actions taken by executive authority,” he said. “What a president giveth, a president can take away.”

One of the areas where Mr. Obama stretched his authority the most was in immigration. He used prosecutorial discretion and a guidance memo from the Homeland Security Department to create a deportation amnesty for as many as 5 million illegal immigrants. Federal courts put a halt to the 2014 amnesty, but illegal immigrants have sued, saying the judges got it wrong.

Mr. Blackman, who has closely followed that case, said Mr. Trump could end all doubt by having his Homeland Security Department revoke the 2014 memo and let the judges know the case is moot.

Immigrant rights advocates have vowed to fight a Trump administration on immigration and are circling the wagons to defend a 2012 amnesty for illegal immigrant Dreamers.

“We will fight tirelessly alongside our partner organizations to protect DACA and ensure that immigrant youths are safe from deportation and that families aren’t separated,” said Cesar J. Blanco, head of the Latino Victory Fund.

Minority advocacy groups are also likely to howl over the direction a Trump administration could take on voting rights cases.

The current Justice Department has sided with challengers who say voter ID laws are too strict and has even refused to defend the federal Election Assistance Commission, which ruled this year that states can require people to prove citizenship as they register to vote.

That refusal to step in drew a stern rebuke from U.S. District Judge Richard J. Leon. “This is the first time in 14 years I’ve seen this,” he said.

Kris W. Kobach, the secretary of state in Kansas who was left to defend his state law and the EAC, said a Trump administration could change that.

“The Department of Justice can, and should, immediately start defending the federal agency, and that means defending the correct interpretation of the [motor-voter law] so that states may be permitted to ask for proof of citizenship,” he said.

Mr. Kobach said a Trump administration could also put an end to sue-and-settle practices. That is when agencies essentially collude with interest groups, inviting them to sue to force action. The agency then agrees to a settlement that ends up writing rules that the interest groups want.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce says dozens of EPA regulations, including the power plant greenhouse gas emissions rules, were written this way, outside of the usual public process.

Hans von Spakovsky, senior legal fellow at The Heritage Foundation and a Justice Department lawyer under President George W. Bush, said one challenge will be surmounting inertia on the part of the lawyers who now work there.

“The Trump administration is going to have to clean out the Justice Department from top to bottom because of the complete politicalization by [Attorney Generals Eric H.] Holder and [Loretta E.] Lynch that destroyed the professionalism and ethics of the department — it will be a monumental task as difficult as Hercules having to clean out the Augean stables,” he said.