Opinion: Administration's failures mostly self-inflicted
Last updated 10/24/2020 at 2:24pm
I’m convinced Jared Kushner is responsible for creating the Trump Administration HR operation that’s the Chernobyl of Human Resources. Once he pushed Chris Christie out, the resulting multitude of personnel mistakes belong to him.
It’s just been one D’oh!ed thing after another in Kushner’s disastrous wake. By painful experience, mostly chronicled in the leaks on the front page of the Opposition Media, the new personnel folks learned it’s not a good idea to hire alligators if the goal of the boss is to drain the swamp.
The caption on a photo accompanying a recent story in Politico sums the situation up nicely: “Director of the Presidential Personnel Office Johnny McEntee …has clashed with some top agency officials over his efforts to install loyalists throughout the executive branch.”
Two weeks before an election, McEntee is trying to accomplish a task that should have been complete in March 2017. The failure is not his fault. McEntee’s only been in charge of the office since February 2020 and evidently, he’s hit the ground running.
McEntee may have had something to do with the only positive Trump personnel development in recent months, the firing of two members of the Tennessee Valley Authority board. That happened after the CEO intended to import tech workers from India, using the H1-B visa program, to replace 200 U.S. citizens already doing the job.
This is callous corporate arrogance at its most corrupt. An organization created by Congress to aid Americans has no more business importing foreign workers to replace citizens than the USPS has hiring drug mules to deliver the mail.
Firing board members was accountability in the form of a lightning bolt.
McEntee wants to spread the accountability over the rest of Trump’s appointees. “The White House Presidential Personnel Office is considering asking nearly every political appointee in the Trump administration to write and tender provisional letters of resignation right before the election, according to two senior administration officials,” Politico reported. “The personnel office would then decide which ones to accept and which to reject — giving President Donald Trump maximum flexibility in choosing his team in a possible second term.”
My problem with this, once again, is timing. The letters of resignation should have been signed, but not dated, by every single appointee BEFORE they were allowed to take their job. It sends a clear message to appointees that they are working for President Trump and are not there to pad their resume or cement relations with members of the OpMedia.
These resignation letters would have been of such overwhelming importance, and the threat of being “misplaced” by one of the backstabbing political whores hiding in the administration so great, I would have assigned the file’s protection to the same military aide that carries the nuclear football.
Had that simple precaution been taken, there would have been no drama when Trump decides an appointee is not doing the job. Trump just dates the letter, announces he’s accepted the failure’s resignation and lets them clear out the people’s desk.
No doubt Jared didn’t embrace the idea because he thought it was tacky. In a bit of unintended hilarity, the totally oblivious Politico reporter makes my point for me, “The officials familiar with PPO’s plans said they would instill fear and uncertainty in political appointees.”
Politico contacted members of the two Bush interregnums. Those were the times when housebroken conservatives kept the wheels of government aired up and the tank topped off. Ready to go when the Democrats took over again and fired government up. The thought of those administrations embracing the social issues that helped elect the Bushes was beyond repugnant.
Doing something for the base is what Democrats do. Republicans would never stoop so low.
Naturally the Bushites were appalled by Trump’s effrontery. “’None of the Republican administrations have done that before,’ said a former official who has worked in the personnel office in past GOP administrations. A former senior Obama White House PPO official also said that the office did not ask for letters of resignation from all political appointees back in 2012, and slammed the potential move as ‘incredible.’”
That’s good enough for me. If the swamp doesn’t approve of the policy, I say Damn the Alligators! Full Speed Ahead!
Many of the failures of the Trump administration are self-inflicted. I don’t think Trump really expected to win in 2016. Consequently, he was unprepared to staff the administration. That mistake was compounded when his administration made a point of hiring people for whom the thought of working for Trump was just a bit beneath their dignity.
If Trump is re-elected — and that possibility is looking pretty bleak — I suggest he unleash Johnny McEntee. That way we Deplorables can witness firsthand what a Trump administration filled with supporters can accomplish.
Michael Shannon is the author of “A Conservative Christian’s Guidebook for Living in Secular Times.” Contact him at: