Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff / Flickr general kelly...
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff / Flickr

After seven-ish months, Donald Trump and his team of eager deplorables is establishing a pattern to their would-be governance. On the one hand, they are prone to taking drastic, sweeping action on a grab-bag of agenda items focused around weakening civil rights, environmental and regulatory protections—moves personally important to Trump’s gaggle of racists and would-be looters.

On the other hand, they have not been able to muster the basic competence to do even half of the basic, daily tasks that running the actual government entails.

A month after former Homeland Security secretary John Kelly decamped for the White House, President Donald Trump has yet to formally interview any potential candidates to replace the retired general as the head of the department.

This is no surprise. After the initial cabinet picks—which themselves were a long time coming, in some cases—the Trump team appeared to lose interest in nominating any of the many, many less-visible underlings who would manage the daily affairs of each agency. Possibly, and this is nothing more than informed conjecture, because nobody in the building has a clear grasp of what any of those people are supposed to actually do.

On the plus side, this new delay in choosing a DHS head is apparently being complicated by Kelly’s radical new suggestion that the department be headed by somebody who actually knows what the hell they are doing, as opposed to thumbing through the list of Trump sycophants and campaign toadies.

Trump was initially inclined to tap Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, the central player in the president’s election fraud commission, as DHS secretary. But Kelly is said to have persuaded Trump against picking Kobach, one of the country’s leading immigration hawks, according to the person familiar with the internal discussions.

When picking names out of his who-gets-the-next-job hat, Trump’s fingers seem to continually gravitate toward people infamous for indifference to civil rights. His fingers may be racist.

In the meantime, the Department of Homeland Security is being run by acting Secretary Elaine Duke, which is probably for the best. So far every Trump pick has been selected with an unsubtle mandate to gut, loot or cripple the federal agency they are being assigned to; it may be better to leave the departments un-headed, if those are our only two choices.

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This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.


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