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Hugh Hewitt Book Club

Deep breaths, everyone. All will be well.

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It stood to reason that 2016 has a few more surprises up its very large sleeves, and that The Ohio State University’s double-overtime 30-27 win over Michigan’s Wolverines would be among them.

Not that the Bucks’ winning The Game is a jolt. Ohio State has won 12 of the schools’ last 13 meetings. But there had never been an overtime in the history of The Game. Now that there has been, it is only fitting and proper that the Bucks own a perfect record on that score.

A past intern on my radio show, Tony Black, now a 1L at my alma mater Michigan Law, took to Twitter to tweet at me complaints about various calls, especially J.T. Barrett’s clearly denominated fourth-down rush for a first down in the second overtime.

I suggested back that perhaps the law school staff had laid out crayons, puzzles and balloons for his traumatized fellow students in Hutchins Hall as had been provided after President-elect Trump’s victory. (Not for long, though, as social media scorn quickly caused U of M Law to reconsider what ought to be expected of would-be litigators facing disappointment.)

“Luke should never taunt Yoda,” I replied to my friends who thought I was tough on Tony. I’ve made it a rule to go easy on those still smarting from Secretary Hillary Clinton‘s stunning loss. But for Wolverine fans? C’mon. Tom Darden interfered with receiver Dick Wakefield in 1971. When my chattering friends Matt Dowd, Ron Fornier, Jay Nordlinger and Larry O’Connor own up to their checkered, stained past, they can begin to complain about ref calls.

But about that note of graciousness that ought to be spreading out throughout Advent across both sides of the deeply divided country: It cannot come soon enough. Trump has been sounding the right notes and making a series of sure-footed appointments while meeting with a disparate group of advisers. Clinton and especially President Obama have been saying the right things.

(The decision of Team Clinton “to participate” in the bizarre Jill Stein-prompted recount in three states is jarring and most definitely at odds with the umbrage directed at Trump when in the third debate he said he’d keep the country in suspense about whether he’d accept the election night outcomes. I thought that a terrible error then and still do, just as I think this absurd “recounting” is lunacy designed to undermine the president-elect among the weak-minded.

But most of the folks agreeing with me post-debate three about how we conduct elections and their aftermaths in this country — and loudly, too, with much sputtering about banana republics etc. — have been, if not completely silent about the Stein madness now indulged by Team Clinton, then at least very clever in keeping their condemnation well hidden.)

It really is time to let go, my friends on the Left. Like you, I thought the result would be called by 10 p.m. EST and that we’d be watching President-elect Clinton interview would be Cabinet-members.

If the expected had actually happened, we’d have some stories on the winding up of the Clinton Foundation affairs, tangled though they are, but people of good faith would have given the incoming president the full two months to get things sorted out. There would have been no cries of “Chaos!” had she waited the customary three or four weeks to make even a single Cabinet appointment.

I think Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Leader Mitch McConnell would have held the same meetings with her and Vice President-elect Kaine, and the same courtesies would have been extended the incoming Democrats by the New York Times and other outposts of elite liberal opinion as have been extended Trump.

Except, of course, those courtesies haven’t been extended. Far from it. We have been treated to an eruption of anger and dismay that is as shocking as the result. Yes, it was a surprise. More than a surprise, it was a shock, a genuine old-fashioned, knock-you-to-the-ground bolt-out-of-the-blue. I understand the stun. I don’t understand, however, the recovery time required. C’mon, liberals, lefties, progressives and whatever else you want to call yourselves. Get it together.

You don’t have to applaud Trump’s win. You don’t have to agree with even one of Team Trump’s personnel selections or policy proposals. There’s no rule that requires you to cease with the wailing and gnashing of teeth. But hyperbole of this magnitude isn’t becoming of adults, and comparisons with dictators past don’t display a grasp of history but betray a very poor level of education and reading.

You can be alarmed that your friends aren’t getting asked back for second interviews, but don’t confuse that with the opening scenes from the “Night of the Living Dead.” Soon to be Attorney General Jeff Sessions is easily among the most qualified nominees for that post in decades, with 17 years as an assistant U.S. attorney and U.S. attorney and two decades in the Senate and on the judiciary committee.

Congressman Mike Pompeo is not just a sitting and respected member of the House Intelligence Committee who started two successful businesses after his Army years. He was also first in his class at West Point. Think on that for a moment: Academic achievement on that lofty order is not guarantee of anything except raw smarts, but it sure is a signpost of that.

There are similar stories around the other appointees and nominees. Stephen Bannon is controversial. I get that. I don’t know him so I don’t have an opinion that is based on anything except news stories and second-and-third-hand gossip. I do know he is an HBS graduate, a Goldman Sachs alum and a shrewd investor. I do know he served on the deck of a destroyer.

Time will tell. I don’t like or read the new Breitbart, but Clinton hung out with Sid Blumenthal and the gang at Media Matters. When “false equivalence” and “normalization” appear in Mother Jones’ critiques of those folks, send me a note about your concerns.

I do know Reince Priebus and Kellyanne Conway. Both have made many appearances on my radio show and both are professionals and serious conservatives of considerable intellect and ability. I’ve met and interviewed Gen. Flynn and know KT McFarland by reputation and from watching her on Fox.

Again, both are serious, accomplished people. Team Trump bound for the White House and for the agencies is filling out with expertise and with loyalists. The tremors shuddering through some in the media tell you nothing about the incoming president and his people and a lot about the shaken elites.

So, everyone, give it a rest and give them the time transitions are allotted. Trump is already far ahead of transitions past, and this one is no more sharp-edged than any in the past. (I was acting director of OPM during the President Reagan-to-President Bush transition … Now there was a St. Valentine’s Day Massacre of a transition.)

Relax and enjoy Advent and the speculation. It’s the hot stove season of politics which comes but once every four or eight years. All will be well in the republic.

 

This column was originally posted on WashingtonExaminer.com.

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