- That is pretty much what history does, but caution is in order
Our post Testing our Faith was about various Trump supporters in the commentariat expressing concerns about the implications of recent Trump administration actions. Objectively, we included an item that, given the personality involved, not unreasonably puts a businessman’s spin on those actions of concern. We thank Hugh Pries for sending it. Here is an alternate take on the businessman explanation.
A response to “When you hire a businessman… Really worth the read”
I agree. Well worth “the read”; An excellent piece and valuable to share.
However, while I concur with much of, author or poster, Mr. Gulliver’s scenario, I’m afraid that his ultimate conclusion may not be accurate. And, one of the indications may be suggested by this ‘breaking story’ in the online Wall Street Journal (now clarified /denied by the White House, but begging the question “how does this happen?”).
WSJ by Emre Peker
NEW YORK—”Trump administration officials said Saturday the U.S. wouldn’t pull out of the Paris Agreement, offering to re-engage in the international deal to fight climate change, according to multiple officials at a global warming summit.”
Reince Priebus is, I’d concur, properly portrayed as analogous to the CEO of the acquired “major company”. Others, not identified by name nor specified by faction also fit the “smaller companies” Mr. Trump “acquired”.
Somewhat missing, however, is acknowledgement of the “hostile takeover” of the really big “company”, the Washington Establishment.
Scarramuchi can, and is, properly portrayed as the “hatchet man”.
However, the analogy tends to break down, in my view, with Mr. Gulliver’s characterization of General Kelly as Trump’s sober, dedicated force who will move the Executive branch in the direction the president wants.
My theory may be suspect in that I am not absolutely sure what Trump’s desired direction might be. And, again, the above ‘news’ heading, is in part driving that suspicion.
It appears that if, as Mr. Gulliver assumes, General Kelly is leading the executive branch in the policy direction Trump desires, that may well be a direction which is not at all disturbing for the left. And, Hillary Clinton may be perfectly ‘safe’ after all.
First of all, President Trump’s dominant (the “winner”) company has, oddly, begun (and nearly completed) a systematic purge of its own “executives”. Newly named National Intelligence chief McMaster’s first order of business was to rid all conservative members from the agency. These were people who, it is widely acknowledged shared Mr. Trump’s perceived views on a wide range of national security policy issues.
The same thing seems to have happened in Secretary Tillerson’s State Department. To continue Gulliver’s analogy, many former “executives” of the “companies” taken over in the acquisition have been allowed to remain in key responsibilities and continue to make key decisions counter to Mr. Trump’s expressed direction. These people are obviously much more in sync with views, including “climate change” and the various foreign threats, with their former “owners” (and even Mr. Tillerson himself) than with Trump’s campaign commitments and expressed desires.
Over at the Pentagon, movement to implement the goals of the new “company” has been slow, indeed. Outspoken opposition from Trump’s own chosen executives has been embarrassingly public. One, significant but not the only, is the issue of “transgender” policy…and the US Navy is still puttering around the high seas powered by extremely expensive “vegetable oil”. Far as can be determined, our “shrunken” Naval force remains so; “diversity”, anti-sexual harassment, and “gender fluid” accommodation training is still taking place with priority over mission-specific training. The recent devastating incidents are alarmingly indicative of readiness shortcomings, due at least in part to these factors.
The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, a Marine Corps general, has, as yet, made no move to rescind some of the disastrously damaging moves by the previous “company”…for example, the actions to ,in effect, force women into frontline Marine combat specialities despite intensive studies by the Corps detailing the negative consequences.
And then there’s the Justice Department. Key leaders from the former “companies” continue to hold their positions and have proven to have devastating effects on the department’s overall performance and are actually a threat to a positive outcome for the takeover/merger (Trump’s election). (To wit, Rod Rosenstein and Andrew McCabe, etc; the FBI’s resistance to any probe of the bungled Hillary investigation…because there is “no public interest in it”!!!).
We alluded earlier to the “hostile takeover” of the Washington establishment. That would, of course, include key members of both political parties. As to the Trump/GOP relationship, it would normally be characterized as a “friendly merger”, but as Mr. Gulliver correctly notes, it has been anything but.
And, now as we have suggested, and this is where Gulliver and I part company as to the likely eventual outcome of all this.
In any merger, a hostile takeover or a friendly merger, the first concern of the dominant entity is the melding of the various “corporate cultures”…indeed setting the enterprise on the course established by the chairman and chief executive. There is always the immediate pledge by both parties that there will be no major changes as a result of the new ownership. In the hostile takeover, in this case Trump’s vanquishing of the previous governing entity, the leadership customarily leaves the new “company”. Always a key necessity if the surviving company is to achieve the organization’s goals.
In the “friendly” union, the leadership of the minor party pledges its loyalty to the new leadership and both announce no foreseen changes.
But, of course, after about 6 months the leadership of the minor party has gracefully departed…on the most friendly terms, of course.
What we see today, though, is nothing like either of these typical scenarios.
Virtually the entire executive leadership of the company’s successful takeover/merger is gone, while a good number of “executives” from the losing entities remain in their positions.
Gone are the brilliant conservative minds of people like Steve Bannon (whether you like his ‘unkempt’ image or not), Dr. Gorka, the four effective conservative figures in the National Intelligence apparatus dismissed by McMaster and the gentle “out-promotion” of K T MacFarland, an accomplished national intelligence expert. Even the replacements chosen, supposedly by Trump, must be viewed with some skepticism as to their commitment to the original mission…McMaster, Tillerson, Dunford, “advisors” Jared and Ivanka, even “Mad Dog”…all have expressed opposite views on one or more key Trump objectives.
Others, brought into the new “conglomerate”, with great approval and expectation by the conservative base who put Trump in office, who made takeovers/mergers happen…Sessions, Pompeo, for example, appear to be somewhat “neutered”. And while Betsey DeVos, Dr. Ben Carson, and UN Ambassador, Nikki Haley seem to be gamely carrying the torch high, one wonders if support within the new “company” will be there for them.
So, bottom line, Mr. Gulliver, I hope you are correct, but in my view, this is not how a very successful hostile takeover/friendly merger is supposed to work.
But, then, maybe I am “so isolated” and “have no concept of how things work” in the business world.