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Conservatives want to use Trump 2.0 to decimate the deep state.  History says not so fast.


“The archetype of what we want a bureaucrat to be is none other than Dr. (Anthony) Fauci,” Dans says. Many conservatives believe that Fauci, longtime director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, helped cost Trump a second term by allegedly overreacting to the Covid crisis without following the president’s instructions and helping to shut down the economy unnecessarily.

“No bureaucrat should have a figurine made of them,” jokes Dans. “Fauci worked for 50 years in one of the most technically demanding and constantly evolving professions in bioscience. Either the person is an Einstein-level genius or he or she is Machiavellian in terms of maintaining power. I would submit the latter.

Vought says his team is also working on a series of detailed plans regarding the DOJ specifically, which would allow the White House to “defund many functions.” One proposal would require Congress to start with a 25 percent cut in FBI funding to eliminate the bureau’s intelligence capabilities, which transformed it “from a law enforcement agency to a national intelligence agency.” . Another proposal would allow the White House to control the solicitor general and align Justice Department lawyers with the president’s wishes, while allowing them to raise legitimate questions about election “fraud” without fear of reprisal.

Two key figures involved in Project 2025 were recently indicted alongside Trump in Georgia: former Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows, who heads the Conservative Partnership Institute; and Jeffrey Clark, who works for one of the groups aligned with Dans, the Center for Renewing America launched by the CPI. Clark, an environmental lawyer who nearly precipitated a mass resignation of Justice Department lawyers in December 2020 when Trump threatened to appoint him acting attorney general, is seeking to carry out Trump’s wish for his first mandate to eliminate all independence of the DOJ. In a May article published by the CRA, Clark argued that the idea that the Justice Department “is or should be independent” is unconstitutional.

As an extension of the Trump agenda, the ARC is also working on a document that will take classification decisions out of the hands of deep state bureaucrats. He is hatching other plans to allow a president to cut off congressionally mandated funding at will, as Trump did when he withheld foreign aid to Ukraine, allegedly to pressure his President, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, to investigate President Joe Biden and his son Hunter, finally touching down the impeachment crisis.

All of these efforts, Vought insists, would respect the principle of checks and balances and restore constitutional order as the Founders intended. “It’s more about returning to the founders’ understanding of executive power,” Vought says.

Indeed, the irony of it all – and it is a bitter, almost insoluble irony – is that both sides of the political spectrum now present the “Constitution” as the thing they most wish to preserve, and yet They remain totally opposed on how to do it. For Democrats, it’s about holding Trump accountable under the Constitution; for Republicans, it is about bringing down the unconstitutional administrative state that they believe to be Trump’s. No negotiations are planned between the two parties.

Many key players in this ambitious agenda openly acknowledge that their efforts were doomed to failure during Trump’s first term because they didn’t know what they were doing; there was no competition against a “deep state” full of Democrats (and all those RINOs Trump brought in), and conservatives have never been good at translating movement ideology into action since Reagan and the “triumph of politics.”

Along with Meadows, one of the godfathers of the new conservative insurgency is Dans boss Ralph Waters, president of the Heritage Foundation, who grew up in the Reagan era and is now reinventing himself as the leading spokesman of Trumpism, overseeing the 2025 project.

“What we’ve never succeeded in the modern conservative movement, even under Reagan, is having a network of center-right professionals ready to go,” Waters says. “To enter into this database 10,000 to 20,000 names who not only submit their resumes, but who are also screened to some extent, and who, depending on the classification of the position for which we think they are suitable, follow these training modules…that’s the part that’s never been done before.

“Do we have conservatives who are experts in killing bureaucracies? Waters said. “No. The conservative movement has not developed this capacity. But we will get there through Project 2025.”

“Republicans still don’t like the idea of ​​expertise”

Little one from Project 2025 It is of course likely, even remotely, that the agenda will come to pass.

In recent decades, some small agencies have been privatized and some powers have been ceded to states and localities. But the growth of the federal bureaucracy generally goes in one direction, as history teaches, as demonstrated over the decades by the Republican Party’s spasmodic efforts to eliminate the Department of Education – now seen as the source evil of “wokeness” – which Reagan declared in the 1980s. the election campaign is a “bureaucratic mess.”

Moreover, although concern from the Pentagon and military leaders was a problem for Trump – and a particular target of the new agenda – Trumpists also want to be hawkish on China. And that’s going to pose a huge problem if they want to bring the military-industrial complex—which everyone involved in Project 2025 agrees is the most out of control—in line with the wishes of the White House.

One of the few generals who hasn’t abandoned Trump — and who works for the America First Policy Institute — is retired Lt. Gen. Keith Kellogg, who complains in an interview that Biden is too soft on the president Chinese Xi Jinping. “Eventually we will have to draw a clear line. And this administration hasn’t drawn it yet,” Kellogg says. His proposal is to resurrect something like NSC-68, the founding Cold War strategy adopted under Harry Truman in 1950. “Give me an NSC-68 for China,” Kellogg says. The problem: NSC-68 created the modern national security state – and a new state will almost certainly make the Pentagon and the defense industrial complex even more cumbersome, as external threats tend to expand the apparatus national security. Just look at the Department of Homeland Security. And remember that Reagan’s attempts to dismantle the Department of Education were abandoned after his 1983 report, A nation in dangersuggested that the United States could lose the Cold War in class.