WTF is going on in Trumpmenistan these days? This train wreck is something that is going to be talked about in Civics and poli-sci classes for decades. And they are not going to be discussions that are likely to leave the Trump transition and the President Elect covered in rose capes and laurel crowns.
Like in any business, politics has processes and procedures. For a Presidential election this is just as true. Rule #1, you play to win. And that means that if you’re even competitive going into the election, you prepare to win. In this last cycle, Hillary Clinton placed a transition team and started vetting potential cabinet picks weeks, if not months before the election. Trump was more concerned with the show he was putting on. He never started a transition team with any teeth, in my opinion because he gave himself no chance of winning, so why waste the time, money and effort. And then the silly little narcissistic bastard won.
At least Mein Furor got off to a good start, he put a longtime, savvy policital operator, Chris Christie in charge of his transition team. And from everything I saw and heard, Christie set about it professionally and earnestly. Then the cardinal sin occurred, Trumpenstein shitcanned him. The popular conspiracy theory at the time was that Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner got in Daddy’s ear about Christie having prosecuted Kushner’s father. I have an alternate theory on that. I believe that Jared Kushner saw that Christie was actually trying to find and promote the best qualified candidates, ones who might actually have the balls to stand up to Daddy and run their departments with the interest of “the people”, instead of being good little lap dogs and “yes men” to The Man. Christie had to go.
So, who does The Orange Julius turn the transition over to? His veep, Mike Pence! The job of transition chief is a taxing, full time job, and Pence had already indicated that he was not going to resign as Governor, he was going to serve out his term. Which meant that he wasn’t devoted to the selection and vetting process full time. And this is what we ended up with.
This is a flat out giant cluster you-know-what. First of all, I’m at a loss to be able to explain the incredible irony of Das Donald trotting out a lawyer to tell a press conference how Trump is being perfectly legal in the steps he’s taking to separate himself from his business only to find out that the firm that she works for just received an award in Russia as the best law firm for 2015! Ladies and gentlemen, you can’t make this shit up!
And how is it playing out? Let’s look and see. One of the jobs of a transition team should be to make sure that not only is a nominee properly vetted, but that they are prepared for their hearings. So, how can it be that Rex Tillerson was so was so totally piss poorly prepared for his hearing? He failed miserably on Russia and Putin, raising the ire of both Marco Rubio and Rand Paul, but even leaving Lindsey Graham disgusted. He groused on Morning Joe yesterday about Tillerson’s response to Rubio about Putin;
“He should have knocked it out of the park,” Graham said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “He should have turned to Marco and everybody down on the committee and said, ‘I see what they did in Aleppo, I know what they did in Aleppo, it is wrong and it is time for Russia to pay a price across the board not just for hacking into our election but for destabilizing the world.’”
Instead, he wimped out. When he said he would need more information, Rubio rattled off a long litany of Russian actions against Aleppo and even against their own people, but Tillerson held firm. From what I saw, Tillerson came across as a subservient lackey, but not necessarily to Trump. What he wants is to be in a position to get in Trumpenfuhror’s ear and push for sanctions to be lifted from Russia, so Exxon-Mobil can get their investment in Russia back by drilling for all of their sweet, sweet oil. And how could Tillerson be so totally unprepared for questions about Obama’s actions on Cuba? A total sellout in other words.
But it doesn’t stop there. His own appointees are openly disagreeing with him in hearings. As miserable as Jeff Sessions came across, he still came out and confirmed that grabbing a woman by her p***y without her consent would be sexual assault. Mike Pompeo, his nominee for CIA Director came right out and sided with the CIA, agreeing wholeheartedly that Putin and Russia were complicit in the hacking attacks and attempted to influence the election. He even promised if the facts warranted to investigate whether there was any collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians when the hacking and releases were going on, the CIA would investigate and turn any results over to the FBI.
James “Mad Dog” Mattis wasn’t much better. He conflicted repeatedly with Trump over his positions on both Russia and Iran. And from what little I’ve seen, Ben Carson was a deer in the headlights, looking to the heavens while Elizabeth Warren grilled him on his positions.
Excuse my French, but I’m tired, what the fuck is going on here? Didn’t anybody on the Trump team even talk to these people in advance, prepare them for what was coming? How did they not determine whether or not some of these people would have diametrically opposite views to those that were held by the man they would be serving? Are we supposed to think that they’re independent minds that will stand up to “The Boss” when necessary, or that they’re just “saying what we want to hear them say” to get through their hearings and confirmations?
My friends, this is a complete and total mess. At least we all know what we’re getting with the Cheeto Prophet. We’re getting a spoiled, petulant, tissue skinned man child who is greedy and self serving to boot. But now we’re presented with the dilemma of having these hearings and still having no idea of what the hell these people actually stand for, and what they’ll do if they’re confirmed to their offices. American democracy isn’t supposed to work this way.