President-Elect Donald Trump has been busy placing some very good people in some very important positions in his administration. This communicates to me that many of his campaign promises with regard to the management of the executive branch of The United States government will likely come to pass. People are Policy.
However, what are we to make of Trump’s 1 Trillion Dollar Infrastructure plan? Were this a Democrat President Elect, conservatives would be loudly opposing it. There could even be some gnashing of teeth. Soon to be Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer seems pleased. So, it appears that the Trump Presidency is going to be the mixed bag we thought it would be. We’ll be careful to praise the accomplishments, of which I am certain there will be many, and to highlight the deficiencies; again, of which I’m certain there will be many.
In the meantime, the Republican Party has to deal with high expectations for the new leader of the Party. Cooperation between President Trump and the Republican Congress will be a high priority. However, conservatives within the Party will want to fight against aggressive tariffs and massive spending boondoggles. Republican Party politics will be a tight rope walk over the Grand Canyon.
In Virginia, the first year of Trump’s Presidency will be a massive statewide election year; as we get set to elect a new Governor, Lt. Governor, and Attorney General, as well as attempt to protect our Republican Majority in the legislature. There’s no time to get distracted by Washington D.C. politics and posturing; the battle for the Commonwealth begins now. On January 10th, there is a special election for the 9th District State Senate seat, featuring a Richmond-Machine Democrat who thinks the seat already belongs to her.
Divisive fissures have already erupted within the party as liberal white-identity politics people, aroused by the Trump campaign and his anti-free trade, anti-China, anti-NATO, anti-immigrant rhetoric, attempt to gain a seat at the table.
Conservatives are still waiting for someone to speak to their issues and energize the base. Ed Gillespie has reached out to conservative and TEA Party leaders across the Commonwealth, acquiring a wealth of “important” endorsements. Gillespie’s most important endorsement comes from his new campaign chairman, Pete Snyder. Ed Gillespie has been listening to conservatives across Virginia for the last two years and seems poised to unleash a powerful campaign to unite the party. Yet, many conservatives aren’t convinced that Gillespie is their guy; their skepticism, a result of nothing more sinister than Mr. Gillespie’s resume. Thousands are waiting, hoping for a more exciting alternative and they all seem to have two words on the tips of their tongues: Denver Riggleman.
Delegate Rob Bell dropped out of the Attorney General race, leaving liberty-candidate John Adams as the popular choice poised to unite the majority of the Republican Party. State Senators Jill Vogel and Bryce Reeves are battling for endorsements and donations. RPV seems confident (to me anyway) that whoever represents the party in November will represent the party well.
Let us not get distracted. We Republicans spend the vast majority of our time fighting with one another. We cannot forget that once we have our nominees, there will be Democrat nominees, well-financed and backed by powerful special interests. Democrats are already laser-focused on stealing 11 seats from Republicans in Richmond.
This is the state of the Republican Party in Virginia this Christmas. Enjoy the holiday season with your families. Celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Celebrate Hanukkah. Bring in the New Year responsibly and enjoy those resolutions while they last.
But do not doubt, we have business at hand come January 1st. The first election of 2017 takes place on January 10th. We have honest to God internal disagreements we’ll all have to work out. Most of all, we have Democrats to defeat. It’s time to put the war paint on, to gear up, and to get ready to play ball. It starts now.