Boots & Sabers

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0716, 02 Jan 18

Trump’s conservative record

My column for the Washington County Daily News is online. Here you go:

The closing of one year and opening of the next offers the opportunity to reflect and re-evaluate one’s preconceptions and biases. As a conservative who opposed President Donald Trump, I must admit that I have been very favorably surprised by his first year in office.

My reasons for opposing candidate Trump were simple, if heart wrenching. He is a man with a history of wretched character who rode a dangerous populist wave to the White House while shouting some empty conservative rhetoric. My worry was, and continues to be, that Trump will govern as a big-government populist and tear apart the conservative movement in the process. That may still come to be, but his accomplishments during his first year in office would be the envy of any would-be conservative president. For that, he deserves praise and thanks.

The most recent accomplishment was the monumental tax reform bill that Trump signed into law a couple of weeks ago. With the help of the Republican Congress, Trump has slashed the corporate tax rate to slightly below the worldwide average, cut and simplified the income tax for individuals, moved the U.S. to a territorial tax system, cut taxes for other businesses, eliminated the alternative minimum tax for businesses and scaled back the alternative minimum tax for individuals. Any one of those would have been a conservative victory.

That’s not all. The tax bill also repealed Obamacare’s individual mandate, which imposed an unconstitutional tax penalty for people who chose to not purchase health insurance. This was a key pillar that underpinned Obamacare and was a flash point in every debate about repealing Obamacare, but it passed in the tax bill with barely a protest.

Also in the tax bill was the opening of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to energy development. This has been a goal for 30 years and it was finally done with barely a whimper of protest.

The passage of the tax reform law alone, with all of its provisions, would have been considered a massive accomplishment for any conservative president. That was merely the capstone of Trump’s tremendous year.

Trump and the Republican-led Senate set a record for appointing conservative federal judges. The most important was the appointment of Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, but he also appointed 18 other federal judges in his first year. Given how liberals challenge every piece of conservative legislation in federal court, filling the federal judiciary to a constitutionally conservative judges is critical to any long term reform.

In the area of federal regulations, where Trump has far more unilateral authority, he has made incredibly aggressive and sweeping conservative reforms. Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency has been sharply pulled back into its constitutional cage, as have the Education Department, Health and Human Services, Federal Communications Commission, and many other regulatory agencies. Thousands of individual regulations have been repealed or reprioritized with the overriding objective of getting the federal government out of people’s lives.

Among those regulatory reforms were the FCC’s repeal of President Obama’s 2015 Net Neutrality regulation, which imposed stringent regulations on internet service providers in favor of Big Media and others. Also, Trump’s administration broke loose the intentional regulatory roadblocks of the Obama administration by approving projects like the Keystone Pipeline.

Trump held firm on his campaign promises to honor our veterans. The Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act improved backlogs at VA facilities while other legislation improved overall access to healthcare and expanded educational opportunities for veterans.

In foreign affairs, Trump has reoriented our nation’s policies under the “America First” banner. Far from being the isolationist posture that many feared, Trump’s foreign policy is engaging and muscular. Trump has returned the U.S. to a more realpolitik foreign policy where our nation will act energetically to support our national interests and expects other nations to do the same.

To that end, Trump rightly pulled the U.S. out of the Paris Accords and Trans-Pacific Partnership – both of which were designed to benefit other nations at the expense of America. Trump has taken a less appeasing stance toward tyrannical regimes in North Korea and Iran. He is finally fulfilling the rhetorical promises of his predecessors of both parties by moving America’s Israeli embassy to Jerusalem. Trump also decertified the treacherous Iran deal where Obama gave Iran a path to nuclear arms and billions of dollars to get there in exchange for empty promises of peace.

Perhaps most impressive, if woefully downplayed by much of the media, was the defeat of the Islamic State. Under Obama, who called them the “JV team,” IS rose to power conquering a huge territory in Iraq and Syria. IS exported terrorism to the world while murdering Christians, Jews and anyone else in their reach who did not subscribe to their cruel ideology. Trump allowed the military the latitude to act without tactical permission from political agents in Washington and supported our allies in Iraq and elsewhere to act aggressively. The result is that after years of growing and spreading, IS has been largely defeated and pushed completely out of Iraq.

It would be easy to lament what could have been had a traditional conservative won the Republican primary, but debating alternative futures is the realm of fiction authors. Trump’s record of conservative reforms is impressive as it stands. Let us hope that he can maintain pace and direction of reform in 2018.


0716, 02 January 2018


  1. Kevin Scheunemann

    Trump’s conservative record is impressive.

    Admittedly, my expectations were low as well, but I have been very surprised.

    Just think what could have happened if it was not for 3 liberal Republican Senators.

    The best part about Trump is: he is always on the attack against liberalism, liberal media, and establishment.   I love that.   Tired of playing defense against liberal attack dogs.   About time the attack dogs get let loose, like Trump has done, to slice up the soft underbelly of liberalism.

  2. jjf

    Warning, though, those blinders will feel like they’re getting tighter and tighter as time goes by, and you may experience moments of cognitive dissonance if think too hard.

  3. billphoto

    I would think any unbiased observer could see some benefit to President Trump’s record but what has been done barely moves the needle in the overall picture.  From the 40-page report, titled “Mapping the Swamp,” “Nearly 30,000 rank-and-file federal employees who received more than $190,823 out-earned each of the 50 state governors” but I find more disturbing is “406,960 federal employees made six-figure incomes.”

    From the local level, where the Village of Richfield, someplace with near zero municipal services, has an Administrator that is paid more that than the City of Hartford City Manager to the top of the food chain in DC, the bureaucracy in our Country is out of control.  Examples like Wisconsin’s own John Doe investigations to weaponized Federal departments are ample proof of this.  Given the lack of punishment for their actions is infuriating.

    Bureaucrats live in many places.  For example, the West Bend School District has achieved the level of national disgrace but except for exposing this lunacy, inaction by the bureaucracy is the order of the day.  Our President cannot do this alone.  We all need to help and make an effort to drain the swamp at every level.

    Maybe it is time to focus on the real threats to our Country.

  4. Paul

    How drunk were you when you barfed that rant out, Nazi?

  5. Le Roi du Nord

    Not at all, little guy.  Do you dispute the veracity of the article, and if so, can you provide any facts to back you up?  Or are you still of the opinion that your rude and crude manners will carry the day?

  6. Mark Hoefert

    You have a problem with VP Biden renting his cottage to the Secret Secret?  

  7. Mark Hoefert

    Meant “Secret Service”

  8. Le Roi du Nord

    Wasn’t aware of that, and if I were I would have been against it.  Always better to keep things like that separated.  Having said that, it was cheaper to rent that cottage for “several years” than golf carts for 11 months.

  9. Mark Hoefert

    Depends if it was cheaper to rent the carts that were there versus having a different vendor provide them – that would be a function of whomever is responsible for procurement.  I am sure that golf carts were rented when Obama golfed – that would be a source for doing a cost comparison.  However, for some reason that does not seem to  have been a concern.

  10. Mark Hoefert

    Having said that, it was cheaper to rent that cottage for “several years” than golf carts for 11 months.

    Kind of an apples to oranges comparison, but how do you  think the cost of shutting down an airport (with jets circling in a holding pattern for an hour) at a congested time compares?  More or less than golf carts and/or cottage rental in an 11 month period?






  11. billphoto

    Did President Trump make a profit from renting golf carts to Obama?  Capitalist!!!!

  12. billphoto

    BTW-What do golf cart rentals have to do with President Trump’s accomplishments?

  13. Paul

    Nothing at all, Bill. WN scum like Le Roy du Moore just want to troll.

  14. Le Roi du Nord


    Did Michelle personally profit from shutting down the airport?

    bill:  just pointing out his continued scamming of the taxpayers.

    little paul:  you are  lying again…..


  15. Paul

    Please stop polluting this blog with personal attacks, Nazi.

  16. Mark Hoefert

    Did Trump personally profit from the rental of golf carts?  Please provide documentation of how much.

  17. billphoto

    So Obama grew our Country’s debt by $7.917 trillion and President Trump rented a golf cart for $49 that presumably taxpayers footed the bill so ‘we’ can all be educated on the scamming of taxpayers?

    I would humbly suggest that if this blog is going off topic, ‘we’ include the Pig Book. when speaking about the scamming of taxpayers.

    PS-Having been involved in financial oversight of a golf course, carts are the least profitable.  Maintenance and replacement costs alone are barely paid for by the rental fee.  As all Presidents have played golf and (I assume) rented carts an by President Trump owning an interest in the golf course, he could receive a portion of the profit from the $49 rental; pretax, of course.  Adding a quote from Newsweek, “Former President Barack Obama’s family travels cost the U.S. a total of $114 million during his presidency, according to documents obtained by Judicial Watch, a conservative legal group. President Donald Trump has, so far, cost taxpayers $10 million,” I must admit I have more fun researching and pointing out how trollish the whole golf cart topic is.  I would add, “thanks for the laugh.”  Sorry it was at someone else’s expense. 

  18. Mark Hoefert

    My question: Did Trump personally profit from the rental of golf carts?  Please provide documentation of how much.

    Your response is an article asking the same thing: Does Trump profit from official government business done at Mar-a-Lago?



  19. Le Roi du Nord


    I realize that those blinded by the trump BS have a tough time with reading and comprehension.   Maybe if you actually read the article the answer would be come to you.

  20. dad29

    Since Obama (and B Clinton) have lifetime pensions, healthcare, and security, why do they give speeches for $200–500K each?

    Clearly, they are profiteering pigs.

  21. Le Roi du Nord

    Odd you would be against profits.  Did RR and the bushs do speeches free of charge?

  22. Paul

    Time to put a Breathalyzer on the White Nationalist troll’s computer.

  23. billphoto

    Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha.

  24. Pat

    I have no problem with x-presidents give speeches for money. Reagan gave a couple to Japan for 2 million. Bush 2 has reaped in the neighborhood of 15 million for speeches. If people want to shower them with money for speeches, so be it.

  25. Paul

    And the anti-Semite crawls out from under its rock…

  26. jjf

    How much trolling and offense has to appear here before the comments all disappear completely, as has happened on a few other posts?

  27. dad29

    Anyone fool enough to think that Presidents–and their wives/children–AND Senators & House members do NOT ‘profit’ due to their position,  should not be voting.

    It’s a make-believe issue that’s convenient for the Left today.  It was NOT convenient for them while the Clinton Foundation was profiting from Hillary’s corruption at State.

    So here’s a proposal:  let’s put Bill and Hillary into Federal prison for their egregious and repetitive crimes and try Trump & Co. when he leaves office, assuming you can find a crime he committed.

  28. Paul

    Mueller might find something around 2097 or so.

  29. Le Roi du Nord

    He already has, and they plead guilty.

  30. Paul

    President Trump has not been charged with a crime.

    Ban this racist troll.

  31. Le Roi du Nord

    Correct, but his associates have.  Stay current. And do your homework.

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