President Trump is shrinking the size and scope of the federal government. You might have missed that little news item amid anti-Trump conservatives’ breathless reporting of each and every non-troversy the mainstream media manages to gin up. But unlike President George W. Bush, President George H.W. Bush, and even the Gipper himself, Trump in just his first year has cut Health and Human Services by 0.5%, Defense by 1.1%, Transportation by 1.4%, Justice by 1.5%, Energy by 2.3%, Commerce by 3.1%, Housing and Urban Development by 3.3%, State by 3.8%, Labor by 4.6% Education by 4.8%, and Treasury by a whopping 7.5%.
Nevertheless, anti-Trump conservatives continue to wring their hands and fret, “Sure, Trump advances the conservative political agenda in reality—but can he do it in theory?” Uncouth tweets and beltway obsessions trump good governance to the insular and parasitic political class. For ease of comparison, I’ve compiled a list of the most prominent Trump administration “scandals” that have kept frivolous analysts across the political spectrum in hysterics since election night 2016.
To begin, Democrats at each level from the grassroots to former future president Hillary Clinton herself have accused Donald Trump of colluding with Russia since November 2016. Putting aside ever-changing definitions of the nebulous term “collusion,” fourteen months have passed with no evidence that Donald Trump is secretly a puppet of Vladimir Putin. Democrat senator and ranking member of the Judiciary Committee Dianne Feintsein has admitted as much, and leading Democrat activist Van Jones has called the Russia collusion narrative a “nothing-burger.”
Here are the others:
- On January 27, President Trump issued an executive order expanding Obama era travel restrictions from countries compromised by terrorism such as Iran, Iraq, Libya, and Syria.
- On January 30, President Trump fired Obama era holdover Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates for refusing to do her job.
- On February 2, Kellyanne Conway referred to the 2011 arrest of two Iraqi terrorists at Bowling Green, NY, as the “Bowling Green massacre” although a massacre had not taken place.
- On February 12, Attorney General Jeff Sessions fired 46 Obama era U.S. attorneys, in keeping with transition tradition.
- On March 4, President Trump tweeted that Barack Obama surveilled his staff during the 2016 presidential campaign. Although the FBI denied the surveillance in September, CNN reported later that month that the FBI had indeed wiretapped Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort during that period.
- On May 9, President Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, following the advice of leaders from both parties. Democrat Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer had announced months earlier, “I do not have confidence in [Comey] any longer.”
- On June 1, President Trump withdrew the United States from the Paris Climate Accord, a non-binding international agreement even advocates for admitted would have had little effect on the environment.
- On August 15, President Trump responded to a violent protest in Charlottesville that included white nationalists and Antifa by condemning “hatred, bigotry, and violence on many sides,” later adding, “Racism is evil, and those who caused violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the K.K.K., neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans.” He finally observed, “Not all those people were neo-Nazis” because peaceful, non-racist demonstrators simply opposed statue-toppling leftists who wanted to “change history.”
- On August 16, President Trump disbanded the American Manufacturing Council.
- On August 16, President Trump disbanded the Strategic and Policy Forum after its members protested the administration.
- On August 18, President Trump disbanded the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities after the majority of members resigned to protest the administration.
- On August 25, President Trump pardoned Sheriff Joe Arpaio for misdemeanor contempt of court.
- On September 29, Health and Human Services Director Tom Price resigned amid accusations of misusing agency funds on private air travel.
- On October 3, President Trump compared Hurricane Maria to Hurricane Katrina and was subsequently blamed because corrupt Puerto Rican administrators squandered relief money.
- On December 6, President Trump announced that the United States would formally recognize the capital of Israel as the capital of Israel after decades of empty promises by both Republican and Democrat administrations. Despite significant criticism from anti-Semites and the United Nations — I repeat myself — the U.S. refused to reverse its decision. In gratitude, the Israeli government announced it would name a train station in honor of Trump.
- On January 3, 2018, President Trump disbanded the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity after many states refused to turn over electoral information.
There they are: the most prominent Trumpian faux pas in all their triviality. For which non-troversy would you imperil the most effectively liberty-expanding first year in modern presidential history? Repeat after me: Keep calm, and shrink the government. Put another way, to quote a great man, “Despite the constant negative press, covfefe.”