Opinion

The Take: Trump enlists Breitbart’s Bannon, Dems blast away

Priebus, Trump, Bannon
Priebus, Trump, Bannon Boston Herald

Good morning. On behalf of The Sacramento Bee’s editorial board, welcome to The Take, your opinion-politics newsletter. Please sign up for it here.

Taking a chance

President Barack Obama passed on a chance Monday to take a big swing at the very controversial choice by President-elect Donald Trump to make Steve Bannon his chief strategist. But several California Democrats aren’t exercising similar restraint. Many are taking a big whack at Bannon, who ran Breitbart, a website responsible for articles many consider racist and anti-Semitic.

Top House Democrat Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco said that there “must be no sugarcoating the reality that a white nationalist” will have the ear of the next president in the West Wing. (Former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke certainly approves.) Secretary of State Alex Padilla said that Trump is “effectively giving white supremacists and anti-Semites a seat at the table” and warned that Bannon will try to turn alt-right rhetoric into policy.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield said he doesn’t know Bannon personally, so he’s going by Reince Priebus, Trump’s new chief of staff, who has vouched for Bannon. “I’ve always believed in giving somebody a chance,” McCarthy said.

Meanwhile, as this editorial board pointed out Sunday, more California Republicans need to make it on Trump’s short list for appointments. They should get a chance, too.

Take a number: 14

Barack Obama used executive orders to get around a hostile Congress and implement his vision. But Donald Trump can undo much of Obama’s legacy by undoing his executive orders. The Hill lists 14 topics that are probably in Trump’s crosshairs. They deal with with clean water, air pollution, fracking, financial services, financial advisers, overtime, union organizing, payday loans and tobacco oversight. Elections do have consequences.

Our take

Editorial: Attorney General Kamala Harris will move in January to the U.S. Senate. Given the gathering federal threat to progressive states’ rights, California’s next AG will need skill to lead nationally.

Editorial: Stanislaus County deputy’s killing extinguished a bright light.

Foon Rhee takes a look at the legacy of John Shirey, who ends a five-year run as Sacramento’s city manager this week. Despite his successes, the police shooting of Joseph Mann tarnishes the end of his tenure.

Daniel Weintraub says that what Donald Trump doesn’t get about Obamacare is that’s it’s nearly impossible to keep one part and repeal the rest.

Nathan Donley calls on the state of California to add Proposition 65 cancer warning labels to processed meat.

Their take

Andrew Malcolm: Bush 43 chose silence during Barack Obama’s early years, not wishing to second-guess his successor. Obama, however, has vowed to speak out often in retirement. Given the current political outlook for dismantling much of his work, Obama will not lack for subjects to complain about.

San Diego Union-Tribune: From climate change to immigration to water wars to teachers unions, here’s how Donald Trump could change California, profoundly.

Orange County Register: Over the past year, manufacturing employment declined by 53,000, while government employment grew by 208,000. This displacement of productive jobs with an army of government bureaucrats bodes ill for taxpayers and economic growth.

Fort Worth Star-Telegram: Having declared securing the border as one of his top three priorities, Donald Trump’s administration should provide a $1.1 billion bonanza for Texas – that’s how much the state should not have to spend on its surge of law enforcement personnel along the border.

San Francisco Chronicle: There are lots of strong prospects for California attorney general. The difficulty will be in coming up with just one nominee.

Miami Herald: Congress now has a chance to make a major reform to the Department of Veterans Affairs, with a bill passed with a veto-proof bipartisan majority in the House that will be ready for the Senate.

Lexington Herald-Leader: It’s way too hard to vote in Kentucky, so voters should demand that the governor and members of the General Assembly make expanding opportunities to vote a priority in the next legislative session.

The (Tacoma, Wash.) News Tribune: 5 reasons not to flee to Canada.

Syndicates’ take

Michael Gerson: A triumphant GOP, but with an identity crisis.

Eugene Robinson: I wish President Trump failure.

Trudy Rubin: Which Trump will we get?

Paul Krugman: Is a Trump slump coming?

Charles M. Blow: Trump’s rural white America.

E.J. Dionne Jr.: Against Trumpian triumphalism.

Tweet of the Day

 ‘Our lead tonight is news that we hoped we would never have to report.’ @JudyWoodruff on the passing of Gwen Ifill.” – @NewsHour

The staff of “PBS NewsHour” mourns one of their own. Ifill, 61 and the anchor of “Washington Week,” died Monday of endometrial cancer. She was one of the nation’s most prominent black political writers and debate moderators, working for both The New York Times and The Washington Post before switching to broadcast journalism.

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