But, He was Such a Successful Businessman…
Setting aside the legitimately debatable notion that Trump was successful in business, it should be becoming clear, for anyone who is being objective, that there are good reasons why electing someone with zero governmental experience is a bad idea. Throw in not only inexperience but incompetence, ignorance, and immaturity and we get what we are currently witnessing in Washington. Further, I hope that at least some Trump voters are beginning to see that many of us who were concerned about a Trump presidency were concerned not primarily for policy or ideological reasons, but for pure competence reasons. (But, I am guessing, unfortunately, that a lot of Trump voters still don’t see it, because if they didn’t see it during the campaign, I am guessing the same blinders remain in place).
On the competence and governance note I would recommend David Brook’s column, The Trump Administration Talent Vacuum, which discusses both the lack of expertise as a result of the administration’s failure to fill key positions (and filling others with inexperienced persons) and the effects of growing scandals:
We have seen White Houses engulfed by scandal before. But we have never seen a White House implode before it had the time to staff up. The Nixon, Reagan and Clinton White Houses had hired quality teams by the time their scandals came. They could continue to function, sort of, even when engulfed.
The Trump administration, on the other hand, has hundreds of senior and midlevel positions to fill, and few people of quality or experience are going to want to take them.
Few people of any quality or experience are going to want to join a team that is already toxic. Nobody is going to want to become the next H. R. McMaster, a formerly respected figure who is now permanently tainted because he threw his lot in with Donald Trump. Nobody is going to want to join a self-cannibalizing piranha squad whose main activity is lawyering up.
Running a White House is insanely hard. It requires a few thousand extremely smart and savvy people who are willing to work crazy hours and strain their family lives because they fundamentally believe in the mission and because they truly admire the president.
The organizational culture is about to get worse. People who have served in administrations under investigation speak eloquently about how miserable it is. You never know which of your friends is about to rat you out. No personal communication is really secure. You never know which of your colleagues is going to break ranks and write the tell-all memoir, and you think that maybe it should be you.
And, this is correct:
Congressional Republicans seem to think they can carry on and legislate despite the scandal, but since 1933 we have no record of significant legislation without strong presidential leadership. Members of this Congress are not going to be judged by where they set the corporate tax rate. They will be defined by where they stood on Donald Trump’s threat to civic integrity. That issue is bound to overshadow all else.
On the competence side of things, I have to admit that this administration has been, in many ways, worse than I expected (and I expected a historically incompetent administration).