Of course Trump and Obama have had nice phone calls. Obama is the master needler: gracious in private, but in public his eyes glowing with a subtle malice, as his voice, oh-so-reasonable, explains to his uncomprehending students/media/opponents why they shouldn’t be enraged by his acts. Remember this past summer, when he strolled through the courtyard of the White House with an earnestly confused Bernie Sanders who had just had his rebellion diffused by Obama, and still didn’t quite realize it? The smile on Obama’s face as he tried hard not to smirk?

Trump has to realize this, and surely does. Obama, gracious in private; disruptive, antagonistic and resentful in his public acts, is doing everything he can to hold on to the illusion that the changes he wrought by executive order can somehow be maintained in place by the right bureaucratic fiddling with the rules. You can’t change this. There’s no precedent, and no Supreme Court Challenge. It’ll take you years. Ha ha. Ha ha.

So yes, this transition is getting ugly and it has nothing to do with Trump’s brisk assembling of talented men and women for his cabinet. The contrast in style between the incoming administration and the outgoing one is as striking as the likely contrast with the substance of the incoming administration. Obama rules by fiat but lets others do the dirty work. Like Secretary Kerry who leaves behind a disastrous legacy, one that has Obama’s fingerprints all over it. If not his overt presence in these waning days.

Trump, on the other hand, seeks experience and pragmatism and does not shy away from possible controversy but rather takes a certain pleasure in diving head first into any controversy. And doing battle with it in a very public fashion. And usually winning. At least, so far.

What the President-Elect hopefully realizes is that the obnoxious Democrat resistance – call it an unwillingness to accept that Hillary and Obama’s party lost – will not start on January 20th. It has already started. In the White House in the latter half of November. Obama is leading the Democrat resistance. He just happens to be doing it from the White House. And one suspects he will continue to lead it on January 21st.

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