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Personnel is policy.


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Personnel is policy.

That’s how Washington actually works. You can study the candidates, weigh their character against their policy pronouncements, against their public persona, against their opponents, and at the end of the day you can elect the right person for the right reasons and they can still disappoint you. Not because they’re dishonest or incompetent, but because the people they bring to power with them may not place service above their own aims and ambitions.

In his latest book, 
In Trump Time: A Journal of America’s Plague Year, former Trump adviser Peter Navarro writes that the Deep State in both parties did everything it could to destroy the administration of President Donald J. Trump. When Trump won the presidency, he assembled a polyglot administration including America-first proponents such as Navarro, and Deep State actors who veered between merely disdaining Trump’s populist nationalism to actively undermining it. Trump himself had little to no way of predicting which side a given official would end up on.

The Deep State did not get so deep without developing the ability to shapeshift and cloak its selfish aims in noble rhetoric for decades. Trump’s brand of conservative populist nationalism was a whole new kind of politics, using planks from the likes of Milton Friedman Reagan, Barry Goldwater, a dash of Douglas MacArthur and P.T. Barnum, and Billy Graham, :snip: 

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