Donald Trump turns a cabinet meeting into a butt-kissing ritual

The White House / Flickr praise trump...
The White House / Flickr

Donald Trump opened a cabinet meeting by inviting the media in to hear the important business of the country. What did the country hear? First, Trump took time to praise himself, saying that “nobody would have believed” how many jobs were created in the last seven months … which was less than the jobs created in the previous seven months. And that the papers were full of “big stories” about new mines opening. By which, he means this

Corsa Coal Corp. will supply coal used in making steel and is expected to generate up to 100 fulltime jobs.

There was also a self-celebration of Trump’s great achievements as a signer of legislation. Which are the greatest. The most ever. It may be hard to think of a single piece of substantive legislation that bears Trump’s scrawl, but that’s because you’re not thinking hard enough. Besides, every tweet now counts as legislation. What’s passing that Lilly Ledbetter Act next to calling Comey a coward from the toasty comfort of your bed?

Once Trump got tired of hearing himself explain how great he was, it was time to share the duty with others. That big smacking sound was each Trump appointee taking his or her turn at telling Trump what a wonderful man he is, how right he is about everything, and how much everyone loves him.

At Trump’s behest, each member of the cabinet took just a moment to explain how much they love Donald Trump. Do you love me, Mike? Do you love me Jeff? Scott? Betsy? Other than the eye-rolling level of sycophancy, the cabinet meeting might not seem to have held any purpose. But it did. 

It allowed Trump to scan his cabinet and make sure that a majority of his department heads weren’t lining up to Amendment 25 him to the sidelines. Instead he got a full volley of glorious, reassuring ego-stroking and pledges of obedience. 

See James Comey? See Preet Bharara? This is how it’s supposed to be done.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions generated a bit more than his requisite share of praise by going on to say that the Trump regime had a “new idea” to “properly, lawfully” work with state and local law enforcement “to fight the rising crime that they’re seeing.” This is a continuation of the fake crime wave that started sometime during Obama’s term. The best thing about fake crime waves? You can put them down with fake law enforcement.

EPA chief Scott Pruitt also went above the minimal requirement of bow-and-scrape to talk about how he’d had a chance to visit China and tell them that the United States stepping back from the Paris agreement really meant that America was going to be a “leader” in energy. It’s a message the Chinese likely managed to get past without laughing, because they work hard at things like that.

Trump sat at the center of the love fest, soaking in the praise. No need to put any of these people on the “has my full confidence” list … at least until Sessions testifies on Tuesday.

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