The great conservative sorting has begun

The hard-working staff here at Spoiler Alerts agrees with Smith that Trump’s inaugural address was not terribly conservative. But that does not mean the Trump administration is not conservative-friendly. And therein lies a conundrum.

If they look past the rhetoric (and the foreign policy), conservatives can find a lot to like in the new administration. There are the Cabinet appointments: Betsy DeVos at Education, Tom Price at HHS, and Rick Perry at Energy would have fit with a garden-variety conservative president. It sounds like Trump’s new budget director is pretty conservative. It’s true that Trump doesn’t talk a lot about deregulation and tax cuts. Nonetheless, the White House pledges to “lower rates for Americans in every tax bracket, simplify the tax code, and reduce the U.S. corporate tax rate, which is one of the highest in the world” as well as “a moratorium on new federal regulations and is ordering the heads of federal agencies and departments to identify job-killing regulations that should be repealed.” For many conservatives, that’s hot.

This leaves mainstream conservatives, who just a few years ago ruled the Republican roost, in something of a pickle. Many of them take ideas pretty seriously and are keenly aware that Trump doesn’t talk about those ideas a lot. At the same time, talking matters less than doing in politics. Quite a few conservatives seem willing to join team Trump, or at least side with him over the alternative…