Donald J. Trump once pledged that he would surround himself with the “best people.”
I always presumed the president meant he would do so at the outset. That he would be have his A-Team suited up and ready to “make America great again” from Day One of the Trump administration.
It hasn’t worked out that way.
The national security adviser was gone after 24 days; the president has burned through four communications directors in a little more than a year; Trump fired the FBI director; the health and human services secretary quit; so did the press secretary; senior policy adviser Stephen Bannon got the boot; so did the White House chief of staff; his chief economics adviser quit; the secretary of state got canned.
Have I missed anyone? Probably. I can’t keep up.
The second national security adviser is considered on the bubble. Same for the attorney general. Hey, the second chief of staff might be out, too. I have read something about the education secretary possibly getting the boot, along with the housing and veterans affairs secretaries.
And then the president reminded us this week that he’s now “very close” to fielding his real A-Team, that he actually relishes conflict among the ranks of advisers.
Do you believe Trump invites dissent? That he wants people to disagree with him? That he takes those disagreements under advisement and then renders thoughtful decisions?
Hah! Neither do I.
I cannot fathom how anyone worth a damn would want to work in this environment. The president has hired precious few top-flight individuals. The defense secretary is a top-drawer guy. I once had high hopes that his second chief of staff would rise to the occasion. I believe the new FBI director is a serious player, too.
So, what’s it going to be? Are we going to get a government that actually functions or will it continue to stumble along, directionless and without form?
It has been said that Trump’s political instincts served him well while he campaigned for the presidency, but that he flushed them away when he began to govern.
This man does not know what he is doing.