Trump vs. the ‘Policy Community’

Trump vs. the ‘Policy Community’, by Andrew McCarthy.

We resolve policy disputes by elections, not impeachments.

When it comes to Russia, I am with what Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman calls the American “policy community.” Vindman, of course, is one of the House Democrats’ star impeachment witnesses. His haughtiness in proclaiming the policy community and his membership in it grates, throughout his 340-page House deposition transcript.

I couldn’t agree more, though, with our experts’ apparent consensus that Moscow is bad, should be challenged on various fronts, and would best be seen as the incorrigible rival it is, not the potential strategic partner some wish it to be — the “some” here known to include the president. Ukraine, for all its deep flaws, is valuable to us as a check on Russia’s aggression, another conclusion about which the president is skeptical.

That is, on the critical matter of America’s interests in the Russia/Ukraine dynamic, I think the policy community is right, and President Trump is wrong. …

But you see, much like the policy community, I am not president. Donald Trump is.

And that’s where the policy community and I part company. It is the president, not the bureaucracy, who was elected by the American people. That puts him — not the National Security Council, the State Department, the intelligence community, the military, and their assorted subject-matter experts — in charge of making policy. If we’re to remain a constitutional republic, that’s how it has to stay. …

By contrast, Hillary Clinton ran as the seasoned foreign-relations pro, the very embodiment of the policy community. She was going to be tough on Russia, work in unison with our European allies, and champion multilateralism. … The 2016 election presented the nation with an unusually clear choice between different directions.

And the American people chose Donald Trump. …

The government’s policy community has gotten so political, it has forgotten that its mission is to implement the president’s policies, not undermine them. … Bureaucrats are not free to substitute their judgments for the president’s. If they can’t accept that, the honorable thing is to resign, à la Bolton and Mattis. Remaining in place to countermand the elected chief executive is not an option.

We’ve moved way beyond that, though. Democrats are now scheming with fellow progressives in the policy community to achieve their three-year longing to impeach President Trump. …

Never forget: The coup is driven by policy differences.

The Left will tell you it’s not — it’s driven by lawlessness. But the Left treats all disagreement with its policy preferences as lawlessness. And when it can’t pull that off, it slanders the dissenters as outlaws. That’s how, with a Supreme Court slot on the line, a widely admired jurist with a peerless record of mentoring his law clerks, mostly women, into high professional achievements somehow becomes a serial rapist.

We don’t have to agree with the president in order to agree that he is president. We can fight against his policies when they are wrongheaded, but we can’t fight against his authority to make policy. That fight is what elections are for . . . not impeachments. Otherwise, American self-government — the accountability of the policy maker to the voters whose lives are affected — collapses.

Well said.