President-elect Donald Trump turns a very memorable phrase. His “Make America Great Again” helped launch his improbable run. “Build the Wall” became an early signature chant by his massive rally crowds, predicated upon Trump’s promise to do exactly that between the United States and Mexico.

And perhaps nothing did more down the home stretch to deliver Trump to the White House than his promise to “Drain the Swamp.”

Washington, D.C., is a $4-trillion-a-year cronyism-infested cesspool where elites divvy up our money by their own rules. And with that, the American people have had it. Trump’s “Drain the Swamp” was just a catchy pledge to address a longstanding problem.

These statements and sentiments helped deliver Trump, and the GOP more broadly, an unprecedented, historic victory. So certainly the Republicans have finally, once-and-for-all learned that cronyism-as-usual must end, right? Right?

Sadly, no.

Some Republicans seem to have taken away the lesson that the public wants earmarks back. Former Speaker John Boehner had banned the earmarking of funding for members’ pet projects in 2011, after the Tea Party takeover of the U.S. House. Earmarks are dead and they deserve to stay dead, but some Republican members of Congress are holding forth hope that they’ll be back later in the next Congress.

But that’s all there is as far as lame attempts at monster cronyism go, right?


Sadly, no.

GOP still deciding what Obamacare 'repeal and replace' means

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What to replace the law with is the subject of earnest and ongoing discussions.

11/18/16 12:39 AM

Senate Republicans are now discussing the revival of legislation to ban online gambling. This is a top priority of Sheldon Adelson, the casino magnate who generously funded both Trump and Senate Republicans in this year’s election. Adelson runs brick-and-mortar casinos. Online gambling is an alternative — a competitor to his brick-and-mortar casinos. So he wants his bought-and-paid-for crony elected officials to ban it.

I’m sorry, but what the holy heck are these Republicans thinking? Was there something in the 2016 election result that suggested it would be a good idea to throw a giant bone to a campaign donor the day after his big gamble paid off?

There is absolutely zero legitimate argument to be made for Adelson’s personal legislation. In fact, it violates several key tenets of small-government thinking.

Different states have passed very different laws with regard to online gambling. Many of them allow it, to varying degrees. Adelson’s personal legislation would steamroll them all. The Tenth Amendment and its federalism? Blithely thrown out the window.

Congress would pass Adelson’s personal legislation in a very swamp-like way — during a lame-duck session, where it would be voted on in part by legislators whom We the People just voted out of office.

No guarantee for senators up for top Cabinet posts

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Serving in the U.S. Senate is no longer a hassle-free ticket to a plum Cabinet post.

11/18/16 12:16 AM

Some Republicans appear to have learned very little from this historic “Drain the Swamp” election. The GOP ain’t called the Stupid Party for nothing.

Seton Motley is founder and president of Less Government. Thinking of submitting an op-ed to the Washington Examiner? Be sure to read our guidelines on submissions.

Trump set to take sharp right turn on immigration policy

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If personnel is policy, this week in President-elect Trump’s transition has been better for immigration hawks than foreign-policy doves.

11/18/16 12:01 AM

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