Looking for more right-wing perspectives to balance your news diet? Here are pieces analyzing Trump’s military appointments and whether he is an aberration
Jason Wilson – The Guardian, Friday 30 December 2016 09.00 EST
This week’s serve of rightwing views comes as the Trump administration is almost bedded down, and he prepares to assume office. What do we know, and what should be the focus of our fears and our resistance? Do Trump’s military appointments threaten basic constitutional norms? Are we making a mistake by treating him as a world-historical aberration, rather than a pretty standard (if idiosyncratic) Republican populist?
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Meanwhile, there’s some fun to be had as people on the right adjust themselves to new realities. The president-elect still faces criticisms from holdouts on the right which are as bitter as any from the left, but some of the #nevertrump crowd are desperately trying to walk back their own warnings from election season.
Publication: The American Conservative
Author: Kelley Vlahos is one of the most fearless and principled writers on America’s military-industrial complex and security state. The fact that she has to publish pieces like her exposé of the opulent lifestyles of the people who live off military contracts in the same publication that gives space to the ravings of Rod Dreher is an indictment of the timidity of other outlets.
Why you should read it: Vlahos uses paranoid masterpiece Seven Days in May – which depicts an attempted military coup in America – to frame a nuanced consideration of Trump’s appointments of recently retired generals to a range of cabinet positions. Is there a risk to the fundamental constitutional commitment to civilian control of the military?
Extract: “One could argue that many elements of the movie’s plot are present today: a military infrastructure bred and fed on decades of war is suddenly threatened by a peacetime posture, defense cuts, and a deal with a rival power that’s unpopular with many in the ranks. In the movie, one general, played forbiddingly by Burt Lancaster, believes it is his duty to right the wrongs of the civilian leadership (a peace deal with the Russians) and, thanks to the size and autonomy lavished upon the post-WWII military-industrial complex, can marshal the makings of an elaborate coup right under the noses of official Washington.”
Publication: Conservative Review
Author: This is a wrap (including audio) of a full-bore rant by Mark Levin. Levin, perhaps talk radio’s angriest blowhard, is a Tea Party guy, longtime Trump sceptic and former Cruz-booster. His claim to authority is a stint in the Reagan White House, and a string of books outlining his philosophy of “constitutional conservatism”.
Why you should read and listen: Levin tears strips off Trump for appointing Rex Tillerson as secretary of state, hinting simultaneously that he is a Putin pal and a creature of the conservative establishment. Talk radio dudgeon can be fun when directed at a common enemy, and it shows how Trump might still struggle to retain his anti-establishment credentials after his enemies in conservative media have done their worst.
Extract: “Lemme tell the giddy guys over at Heritage and so on, Ronald Reagan would never have picked a secretary of state with these ties to Russia … What is his foreign policy philosophy other than kissing Putin’s butt?”
Publication: National Review
Author: Jonah Goldberg is a weird unit. He’s a longtime National Review habitué, author of a book that compares American liberalism to fascism, and, in a tough field, he was perhaps the whiniest #nevertrump conservative. As the American Prospect