It was obvious that Donald Trump was going to do something provocative just after being sworn in as president, but didn't you think his provocation would be a bit less ... verbal? Here's a guy who could have whomped us with a couple dozen executive orders, all of which would have the force of law, but instead his big provocation was this:
As Donald Trump was sworn in Friday, the White House website got a major makeover. One of the casualties in the reset: any mention of the need to fight climate change.
The original White House page dedicated to the problem of climate change and former President Barack Obama's policies to address it is now a broken link: "The requested page '/energy/climate-change' could not be found."
Instead, the White House website features Trump's energy talking points from the campaign. The page -- titled, "An America First Energy Plan" -- makes no mention of climate change, other than to say, "President Trump is committed to eliminating harmful and unnecessary policies such as the Climate Action Plan and the Waters of the US rule. Lifting these restrictions will greatly help American workers, increasing wages by more than $30 billion over the next 7 years."
.... Here's the new page....
The moment Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th president of the United States at noon on Friday, the LGBT, ... health care, and civil liberties pages disappeared from the website of the brand new Trump White House.
... the changes occurred at noon, when the Obama administration turned over the official White House website, whitehouse.gov, to the Trump team.
The White House’s official LGBT page, WhiteHouse.gov/LGBT, now either redirects to a splash page encouraging visitors to sign up for updates from President Trump, or displays as a broken link stating: “The requested page ‘/lgbt’ could not be found.”
The new White House website went live following Donald Trump’s inauguration Friday, and it contained a bracing message implicitly directed to supporters of the Black Lives Matter movement: Your kind is not welcome in Trump's America.
“The Trump Administration will be a law and order administration,” reads a page on the website titled "Standing Up for Our Law Enforcement Community." It continues: “President Trump will honor our men and women in uniform and will support their mission of protecting the public. The dangerous anti-police atmosphere in America is wrong. The Trump Administration will end it.”
In case it wasn’t clear who and what the Trump administration blames for this “anti-police atmosphere,” the website clarified: “Our job is not to make life more comfortable for the rioter, the looter, or the violent disrupter.”
This is disturbing -- but so far it's just words, not deeds. I expected more from the big tough guy.
To me this reeks of Steve Bannon, who probably thinks even laws are less important than trying to seize control of "the culture," which is pretty much what you'd expect Andrew Breitbart's successor to think.
As for why Trump didn't come roaring out of the gate with provocative deeds, I question whether he actually knows where he stands on many issues -- he knows that on every issue he agrees with somebody he's seen on Fox, but sometimes they disagree. What's a president to do?
I also think the establishmentarians in the battle for Trump's brain are trying to steer him away from Buchananite populism and toward traditional Kochite Republicanism. This Politico story sees a battle with, on one side, Bannon and another bomb-thrower, adviser and speechwriter Stephen Miller, and, on the other, establishmentarians Reince Priebus and Mike Pence:
Two senior transition officials said the “two Steves” have pushed for Trump to use a “shock and awe” strategy of issued multiple executive orders on Day One, but lost out to other factions pushing for meting out a “drip drip drip” of executive actions almost daily over the first month.
Priebus and Pence represent the Washington GOP establishment, pushing for discipline and traditional conservatism in the new administration. “It’s going to be a combination of Reince and Pence’s job to figure out the policy pieces that fit,” said a senior Trump adviser, “and Bannon and Miller making sure the campaign’s promises are in the bills.”
This feels like a stall tactic to prevent Trump from doing anything that would deviate greatly from traditional Kochism.
And on another subject, there's been some violence in anti-Trump protests in D.C. today. Why isn't Trump grandstanding? As a New Yorker, I can tell you that if Rudy Giuliani had just been inaugurated today and this were happening, he'd be before the cameras threatening to rain unshirted hell down on the non-peaceful activists, and it wouldn't matter how many inaugural balls he was scheduled to attend. What's up, Donnie? Maybe you'll threaten to send them to Gitmo tomorrow, but why aren't you pouncing on this today? I thought you were a tough guy.
Crossposted at No More Mr. Nice Blog