Inexplicably, others soon tumble in to fill the empty seats.
The constant churn of personnel as Trump cycles through the central-casting types he likes to appoint to once-prestigious positions has turned the White House into a house-of-mirrors where you might show up tall and slim and looking like a million dollars, only to crawl out a few weeks later looking like the left-over merchandise from a fire sale.
Most often, it’s not your qualifications that get you there; sometimes it’s your “look.” Or something else like … Trump feels comfortable with you … or he saw you on TV … or you’re related to someone he knows ... or, better yet, related to him.
Qualifications are the least of it. Recently, Trump appointed Larry Kudlow to head the National Economic Council. Kudlow has been described by Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank as “the man who has arguably been more publicly and consistently wrong about the economy than any person alive.” If you had followed Kudlow’s advice before the crash of 2008, says Milbank, “you would have been ruined.”
It seems we’re in for a long lunacy. One of the chief supporters of the tariff plan is Peter Navarro, director of the White House National Trade Council. Here’s what he said to another Post reporter:
“‘This is the president’s vision … My function, really, as an economist is to try to provide the underlying analytics that confirm his intuition. And his intuition is always right in these matters.’” (Oh, my!!!)
The Post continues, “This, in a nutshell, is the operating philosophy of the Trump administration. What Trump says is correct and it is incumbent on those around him—even those engaged in theoretically objective analysis like economists—to reshape reality to conform. Sometimes that means making false statements. On other occasions it means making it impossible to establish what’s true and what isn’t.”
Thus, the impulsiveness of our ignorant, self-inflating “leader” has produced a government that not only makes us a laughing stock, but unsettles us, our allies and our opponents and exposes us to all manner of risks. Those tariffs meant to penalize exporting countries? The people who will really be penalized are the American consumers facing higher prices. And the idea that tariffs on imports would produce employment growth in steel and aluminum here? Not likely, the experts say.
It’s government by gut-check. Hold on to your hats.