The Sleeper Issue of the 2024 Election

JUST AS DEMOCRATS LOOKED TO DIVERT ATTENTION away from Joe Biden’s health, along comes a potential new issue — “project 2025,” a radical proposal from the Heritage Foundation that advocates ripping up government as we know it, replacing it with an “army” of 20,000 that would place Donald Trump supporters in all key positions while imposing an authoritarian stamp on all federal policies.

THIS COULD BE THE SLEEPER issue of the 2024 election; if the Democrats can’t exploit this one, they won’t deserve to win.

THIS IS A HUGE ISSUE FOR THE RIGHT WING: The Heritage blueprint consists of 30 chapters of plans to restructure government, largely taking authority away from federal agencies and concentrating more power in the hands of the president. A sweeping overhaul of the executive branch would be more likely now that the Supreme Court’s ruling in the Chevron case has made it easier to curb the regulatory agencies.

THE WASHINGTON POST has a description this morning of some of what the Heritage Foundation wants — the next president should curb the First Amendment, roll back gay rights, infuse Christianity into more state functions, repeal climate and environmental protections, and limit reproductive care and health care more broadly. Pornography would be banned — “The people who produce and distribute it should be imprisoned,” according to the document.

AGENCIES RANGING from the Federal Trade Commission to the FBI could be affected — and even the Federal Reserve might be targeted; Trump reportedly believes the president should have input in Fed decisions, including interest rate policy.

THESE SWEEPING RECOMMENDATIONS from the Heritage Foundation are an outgrowth of the chaotic Trump appointments and a lack of coordinated themes in Trump’s first term, which he is determined to avoid again. Trump reportedly is quite blunt about wanting to impose these changes with an iron first, with only political appointees allowed to join the crusade. Not surprisingly, Trump has denied any knowledge of the plan, which could become a political headache for the GOP this fall.

THIS POTENTIAL CONTROVERSY HEATED UP last week when Paul Dans, Project 2025 director and former chief of staff of the Office of Personnel Management under Trump, said the following: “Our goal is to assemble an army of aligned, vetted, trained, and prepared conservatives to go to work on Day One to deconstruct the Administrative State.”

ANOTHER FORMER TRUMP APPOINTEE, Kevin Roberts, appeared on the “War Room” Podcast with Steve Bannon recently, before Bannon began his jail sentence for contempt of Congress. In the interview, Roberts declared that “we are in the process of the second American revolution, which will remain bloodless if the left allows it to be.”

BOTTOM LINE: Americans don’t like big government, so this proposal may win some support. But Americans like incremental change, not sweeping, radical change. The proposal’s strict curbs on health care and reproductive rights is a political loser for the GOP; even Trump’s top Vice Presidential hopefuls have distanced themselves from it. But the Supreme Court was just the beginning; debate over the role of the entire government is about to heat up.

Related: Joe Biden’s Very Crucial Week

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