Remember when Donald Trump promised to “drain the swamp” in Washington if he was elected? Well, to some observers, he has done that with his Cabinet choices. With few exceptions, these people, however accomplished they’ve been and/or having made money in business, have spent little time in public life. As a result, we are in for a very different time. On the other hand, to many of us, it sounded like a reduction of influence by those who had worked so well in the swampy water of the nation’s capitol.
Trump’s first major foreign policy hiccup was taking the call from the President of Taiwan as if it was simply one nation’s leader “congratulating” another nation’s leader on an election victory as the President Elect claimed. Not surprisingly, many took it as a shot across the bow to the Chinese who were regularly featured as the biggest American foe during his campaign. Others attributed it to naiveté and a lack of preparation by his unskilled and inexperienced staff. Alas, neither was the case.
Instead, lurking in the swamp was Bob Dole, former presidential candidate and GOP majority leader who was a Senator from Kansas for many years. Along with Democrats, Dick Gephardt and Tom Daschle, both former party leaders turned lobbyists, Dole was each being paid $25,000 per month to advance the agenda of the Taiwanese. He and his colleagues obviously earned their money by arranging the call designed to make Taiwan look relevant again.
I guess my view of draining the swamp is not one where the crocodile smiles on the faces of these lobbyists grow. So on the first exchange between the “Establishment” and the “New Regime,” the score appears to be Swamp 1, Trump 0.