Tuesday, January 09, 2018

As Flies To A Dung Heap

Sometimes, the best and the brightest -- as David Halberstam proved in his seminal book on the Vietnam War -- do not always turn out as advertised. But, Paul Krugman writes, Donald's Trump's men are the worst and the dumbest:

When the V.S.G.[Very Stable Genius] moved into the White House, he brought with him an extraordinary collection of subordinates — and I mean that in the worst way. Some of them are already gone, like Michael Flynn, who Trump appointed national security adviser despite questions swirling even back then about his foreign ties, and who last month pleaded guilty to lying to the F.B.I. about those ties. Also gone is Tom Price, secretary of health and human services, done in by his addiction to expensive private plane trips.

Others, however, are still there; surely the thought of Steve Mnuchin at Treasury has Hamilton rolling over in his grave. And many incredibly bad lower-level appointments have flown under the public’s radar. We only get a sense of how bad things are from the occasional story that breaks through, like that of Trump’s nominee to head the Indian Health Service, who appears to have lied about his credentials. (A spokeswoman for the Department of Health and Human Services says a tornado destroyed his employment records.)

And they have been joined by elected members of the Republican Party:

Until now, it wasn’t entirely clear whether pro-cover-up members of Congress, like Devin Nunes, who has been harassing the Justice Department as it attempts to investigate Russian election interference, were freelancing. But Paul Ryan, the House speaker, has now fully taken Nunes’s side, in effect going all in on obstruction.
At the same time, two Republican senators made the first known congressional referral for criminal charges related to Russian intervention — not against those who may have worked with a hostile foreign power, but against the former British spy who prepared a dossier about possible Trump-Russia collusion.
In other words, even as much of the world is questioning Trump’s fitness for office, the only people who could constrain him are doing their best to place him above the rule of law.

Lord Acton's admonition about how deeply power corrupts remains true. Flies are always attracted to a dung heap.

Image: the kebun


Steve said...

the most bought and paid for cabinet in history.

Lorne said...

If one didn't know better, Owen, one could think that all of this despicable behaviour is a massive plot by those holding office to convince the electorate that it really isn't worth their time to vote. Just stay home and enjoy the soap opera/reality show programming.

Owen Gray said...

I agree, Steve.

Owen Gray said...

The people who are presently in control got there by actively supressing votes, Lorne. So that supposition makes eminent sense.

the salamander said...

.. but Dr Kristinn Kellie Leitch told us all, that Canadians should be excited at the news of an incoming Trump administration ! History will not be kind to el Trumpo Bankrupto.. suspect we can say history won't be kind to those who enable or elected him. Those already indicted via Robert Mueller will likely become cannon balls fired back at the GOP & the Trump White House pondscum. The way Steven Bannon rolled over is another indication of the sickness and rot that has permeated American politics.. its really a vast vast sellout underway.. and in my view, a majority of Americans will not be able to tolerate what is going on. Its up to Democrats or a brilliant independant.. an exemplar, to rise to the challenge. Not Hillary, not Joe Biden.. and not someone beholding to the Democrats. Someone like Robert Muller in my view.

Owen Gray said...

You're right, salamander. The old Democratic beench won't be able to do the job.