As the administration of President-Elect Donald Trump takes shape, there is one characteristic that is inescapable. Most of his appointees so far are utterly incapable of performing the jobs for which they have been chosen. There seems to be a deliberate effort to select people who lack the necessary skills to be successful.
This could be due to an old Republican strategy of purposeful failure. The objective of this strategy is to insure that government operations fail. Then they can later point to the failure as proof that government doesn’t work and justify cutting every program.
However, it could also be due to simple incompetence on the part of Trump who hasn’t the foggiest notion what he’s doing. Remember when he said that he knows all the best people and would surround himself with unparalleled talent? Apparently all of those people are busy, so Trump has resorted to names familiar to everyone who watches Fox News.
The Huffington Post noticed this deficiency and reported on it with some key perspectives from people with real experience. HuffPo’s Ryan Grim wrote that:
“Trump’s roster of key White House advisers and Cabinet officials could, in the end, rank among the least experienced in recent presidential history.
“Steve Bannon, Trump’s chief strategist, headed right-wing news site Breitbart News before chairing the president-elect’s campaign. Reince Priebus, Trump’s chief of staff, previously ran the Republican National Committee. And Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, a key presidential campaign strategist who is now being discussed as a White House adviser, ran his family’s real estate business before entering politics.
“None of those individuals has worked in government.”
Add to that Nikki Haley whose role as governor of South Carolina gave her none of the foreign policy experience needed for being the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. Then there’s Dr. Ben Carson whose medical skills won’t help him develop housing policy as HUD Secretary. And Betsy Devos as Education Secretary has never held any position in teaching or school administration. Sen. Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III was an attorney and a prosecutor. But he was also rejected for a judgeship because of his public racist outbursts. That hardly seems appropriate for the Attorney General’s post who oversees civil rights enforcement. And let’s not forget that Trump wants to install his fatally unqualified kids into official government posts.
There may, however, be a positive side to this. Since Trump and his people will be so ignorant and inept, they will have to rely on the career bureaucrats in each department. These are people who are more likely to be concerned with efficiency rather than ideology. Some of them have been there for decades and were hired during the administrations of presidents from both parties. That means there is some diversity of opinion and workplace camaraderie. They will likely cooperate on ongoing projects and on keeping the department’s routine operations functional. They may not be particularly anxious to help wingnut bosses execute foolish plans.
Consequently, as Trump’s lieutenants attempt to implement policy, they will run headlong into obstacles which they cannot overcome. Then they will either defer to the experts or try to force their vision into place. If they choose the former, then business will proceed as usual. If they choose the latter, they will likely fall flat on their fannies. In any case, it will be difficult for them to shepherd any real reform through a bureaucracy they can’t comprehend.
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.
So let’s hear it for inexperience. Three cheers for incompetence. As long as someone as dangerously clueless as Donald Trump is in the White House, the best the American people can hope for is that he and his minions perform as terribly as we all expect them to. Of course there’s a downside to this as well, but that’s another, more depressing, subject.