Team of rivals? Kitchen cabinet? Or Waylon Smithers clones?
The real model for Trump's team is neither Abraham Lincoln nor Andrew Jackson but The Simpson's Mr. Burns with a room full of Waylon Smithers-types.
Ink is spilling fast about Trump’s transition team.
This cnn piece trades on Doris Kearns Goodwin’s book about Lincoln, in which she describes Lincoln’s method of surrounding himself with ambitious opponents whose competing views, taken together, gave him a greater view of the whole as well as more buy-in from competing stakeholders.
And, you know, Lincoln is a comparison Trump can live with.
It does seem there will be a diversity of opinion in Trump’s White House. Correction. Diverse views characterize the people whose names are being mentioned for top spots. This is encouraging in a way, give or take some alt.right views I could live without.
But the meat of the cnn article, along with others including some pieces here at OTB, suggest the transition is chaotic and an open bar party for Trump cronies. If the litmus test for a place on Trump team is pure loyalty to The Donald and unquestioning devotion to whatever may be passing through his mind at a given moment, then any potential intellectual diversity will be wasted. And then the real model for Trump’s team would be neither Lincoln, nor even Andrew Jackson and his Kitchen Cabinet, but The Simpson’s Mr. Burns with a room full of Waylon Smithers-types.
But I should add this. Underestimating Donald Trump is a habit I find hard to shake. I’m learning it’s a bad habit, a stupid habit. And like many bad habits it impedes one’s ability to operate effectively in reality.