Alex Hanson / Flickr sam clovis...
Alex Hanson / Flickr

Draining the swamp.”

President Donald Trump’s appointees to jobs at Agriculture Department headquarters include a long-haul truck driver, a country club cabana attendant and the owner of a scented-candle company.

A POLITICO review of dozens of résumés from political appointees to USDA shows the agency has been stocked with Trump campaign staff and volunteers who in many cases demonstrated little to no experience with federal policy, let alone deep roots in agriculture. But of the 42 résumés POLITICO reviewed, 22 cited Trump campaign experience. And based on their résumés, some of those appointees appear to lack credentials, such as a college degree, required to qualify for higher government salaries.

It appears to be a simple case of cronyism. There’s no indication the Trump hires are even remotely qualified for the positions, and it’s not clear why, for example, a cabana attendant is a fine fit for a position managing the USDA as opposed to, say, a position in the State Department or, what the hell, piloting a space rover or two. Their qualifications are that they worked for the Trump campaign or otherwise knew a guy dat knew a guy, which appears to be all that’s necessary. The appointees are stuffed into positions that need not face Senate confirmation.

And even then, the administration is behind on their efforts to staff the administration. Presumably because they are fresh out of cabana boys.

You would think that such salt-of-the-earth fellows as the Donald Trump Campaign Team would, when it came time to staff up the USDA, know plenty of people with actual agricultural experience who could fit the bill. Republicans are, after all, convinced they are the party of rural America. Perhaps one of those farm-adjacent Americans would be available to step up  and help run the show for a while?

No? Hmm. Well, we will still give Donnie the benefit of the doubt on this one. That was his schtick, after all; he knows all the best people. None of these silly experts for Donald Trump—he has billionaire friends who do billionaire things, any one of whom could run a government better than the stodgy lifelong career-havers at the various federal agencies. Or if they can’t do it, they could suggest someone appropriate. Or if they don’t know anyone appropriate, they could suggest someone who could suggest someone.

Or, what the hell, just pull in people who did odd jobs for the campaign. Honestly, how hard can top-notch gubberminting be?

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


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