An administration is more than one person. There are cabinet members and staff, who’s job is to execute the policies the President decides upon. There is no doubt that for a Presidency to be successful, a President must “hire the best people.” And so, Donald Trump made the argument that he “hires the best people.”
If only that were true.
Just six months into the Trump Administration, and there has already been some major changes. Reince Priebus is gone as White House Chief of Staff. Anthony Scaramucci was hired as Communications Director and fired less than 2 weeks later. Sean Spicer left as Press Secretary in protest to Scaramucci’s hiring. John Kelly has replaced Priebus as Chief of Staff, leaving a vacancy at the top of Homeland Security.
James Comey was fired as FBI Director in the most unprofessional manner. Justified or not, the President should have fired him in-person. Instead, a public announcement was made, which is how Comey himself learned that he had been sacked.
Should Comey have been fired? Absolutely. His testimony in front of Congress prior to the election, which thoroughly detailed the most-recent criminal acts of Hillary Clinton, yet arguing she should not be charged as “she had no intent,” was downright ridiculous.
The problem is, Trump fired Comey while in the middle of an investigation into Trump and his staff. Comey should have been fired on January 21st. The President fired Comey in the worst way possible and with the worst timing.
Attorney General Sessions has been under the gun. The President, with his typical lack of professionalism, took to social media to chastise Sessions, instead of speaking with him privately. True Conservative and Libertarian-leaning Americans were wary of Sessions from the beginning, due in no small part to his career-long love of the unconstitutional practice known as civil asset forfeiture. Now, that same abuse of government power has been adopted as policy and is being carried-out at the Federal level. Very few liberty-minded people would be sorry to see Sessions go, but that is hardly the point. Apparently, Kelly has since told Sessions that his job is safe… at least for now.
The reverse-side of this hiring trend has also been made manifest. John Koskinen, the Commissioner of the IRS, is still in place. Koskinen gained infamy under the Obama Administration for his alleged role in the targeting of conservative groups by his agency leading-up to and persisting after the 2012 election; as well as his subsequent, highly-questionable responses given to Congress on the same subject. He, like Comey, should have been fired on Jan 21.
H.R. McMaster, another Obama appointee, is now serving as National Security Advisor. McMaster has taken some heat in recent days for the firing of Trump loyalists from the National Security Council, but largely only from those who see serving Trump, not the constitution, as serving the country. If there was going to be a problem, why was he ever hired by Trump in the first place?
Waiters, cable TV salesman at Walmart, and retail employees are jobs where you might expect a high turnover rate. Top-level advisors and Cabinet Members are not. These are people you typically expect to serve the entire first term, and sometimes even into the second, should there be one.
What has taken place thus far is NOT “hiring the best people.” This is a direct result of a President who hasn’t the first clue what he’s doing. Trump, along with his most ardent sycophants, argue that Trump’s problems stem from the so-called “Deep State.” Well, if the Deep State is still in power, doesn’t the blame then lie with Trump for not getting rid of it in the first place?
Sadly, none of this should be surprising. The Trump campaign gave Americans a glimpse into how a future Trump Administration would look. Trump went through a host of campaign managers and advisors, each more disreputable than the last, before settling on Kellyanne Conway to take him through to the end.
It is ridiculous for the President to ever claim he hires the best people. Maybe he does, but it doesn’t count when the best people are hired because they’re then only ones left after everyone else has been hired and fired. It only counts if they are hired as the best person for the position in the first place.
Perhaps Trump will hire the best people, eventually, but America can’t wait forever for him to get there. Six months into this Administration, and very little has been accomplished in a nation that is still reeling from the years of corruption and abuse by the Obama Administration. So far there is no wall, no repeal of Obamacare, and no tax reform. Trump’s cult wants to blame Congress, but they should be blaming Trump.
He’s given no clear direction, and hasn’t focused on any one issue long enough to accomplish any of them. He’s done a good job of repealing some of the Obama-era executive orders, but an EO can change as soon as the next President is in power. And, with the way things are going, that will likely be no later than January 20, 2020. Trump needs to get meaningful legislation passed, but it appears he doesn’t even know how to go about doing that.
Hiring the right staff could help him accomplish such goals, but it seems unlikely that’ll actually happen. Trump’s hiring criteria seems to be centered around who kissed his ring during the election, and the staunch conservatives (not to be confused with the RINO Never Trumpers like Bill Kristol and Jeb Bush) didn’t do that. Trump simply puts his sycophants in place. He seems willing to forgive past critics, like Scaramucci, but only so long as they swear allegiance to Trump himself, and not the Constitution. That isn’t going to make things better.
He needs to privately beg the help of truly effective leaders, men like Scott Walker and Mike Lee. But Trump will never do that, as ‘humility’ isn’t a word this President can spell (as evidenced by his typo-laden tweets), much less embody as a personality trait.
It seems clear that Americans can look forward to at least three and-a-half years of this non-stop reality show in the White House, in lieu of a competent staff and cabinet comprised of truly-effective leaders to run the country. Meaning the longer this drama continues and meaningful legislation continues to fail in Congress, it becomes more and more likely there will ONLY be three and-a-half years, as the odds of Trump winning reelection against any half-decent, non-lifelong criminal nominee, become ever more unlikely.