Trump Cabinet Picks Were Awful, But Their Replacements Could Be Even Worse

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Trump administration cabinet meeting. (White House photo.)

ormer Attorney General Jeff Sessions has recently been shuffled ignominiously off stage by the Trump White House. And even though he shared the president’s white supremacist views and carried out Trump’s anti-immigrant policies, it still wasn’t enough to save his job. Apparently, Trump wanted an attorney general who would also overlook his crimes. The only satisfaction that comes from Sessions’ departure is that he leaves with his reputation in tatters.

And this seems to be a constant theme for people who’ve worked in the Trump administration. Working in the White House, used to be a major feather in your hat and a golden ticket to lucrative jobs, but not in Trump’s case. Former Trump officials leave the administration bruised and battered and with Trump’s radioactive stink on them. According to Ann Linsky of the Boston Globe, “Some wonder if White House experience is more of a ball and chain than a springboard.”

Take Department of Homeland Security Secretary Christian Nielsen, who is rumored to be headed for the exit. Imagine how her future interview will go?

Interviewer: What did you do in your last job?
Nielsen: Oh, I locked up children in internment camps.
Interviewer: We’ll get back to you.

Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders faces an even worse situation. The only thing people are going to remember her for is covering for the most dishonest president in history. She might write a book about her White House experience, but she needs to remember that her predecessor, Sean Spicer’s, book sold dismally. But what do you expect from a book that describes Trump as “a unicorn, riding a unicorn over a rainbow!”

The scary thing about the Trump administration is the replacements for outgoing White House officials are often worse than their predecessors. Hardly anyone remembers how bad Spicer was because Sanders has exceeded his awfulness! Spicer might have lied brazenly for the president, but at least he never tried to smear a reporter by releasing a doctored tape from InfoWars!

However, Sanders could always end up on FOX News, who seem to observe no journalistic standards and will hire anyone who follows the (Republican) party line. I guess that would be a lateral move? She’d be paid a little more to do the same thing she did in her previous job — lie on behalf of the Trump administration.

The scary thing about the Trump administration is the replacements for outgoing White House officials are often worse than their predecessors. Hardly anyone remembers how bad Spicer was because Sanders has exceeded his awfulness! Spicer might have lied brazenly for the president, but at least he never tried to smear a reporter by releasing a doctored tape from InfoWars!

Sessions was a neo-Confederate fossil but at least he showed some professional integrity when he recused himself from the Russia investigation. His temporary replacement Matt Whitaker, who has been condemned as being out of his league, had previously called for the Mueller probe to be ended. But he sees no conflict in overseeing that same investigation.

Nielsen is awful, but I can’t imagine how much worse her replacement will be. What will they approve? An electrified border fence? Mines on the border? More likely they would deny migrants the legal right to apply for asylum.

Several commentators have said that some of the current cabinet-level officials are hanging on because they’re scared of who Trump will replace them with. This is apparently the case with Defense Secretary James Mattis, who Trump has called a “Democrat.” Even though Mattis’ nickname is “Mad Dog,” he has been a restraining influence and avoided carrying out Trump’s unhinged suggestions. According to Bob Woodward’s “Fear,” Mattis told his staff to ignore Trump’s demand to wipe out Syria’s top government officials.

But how long can he hold on? And who would Trump replace him with? A yes man, who’s willing to carry out his plans? I shudder at the thought.

Written by

Manny Otiko writes about race, politics and sports. He has been published in Salon and LA Weekly. Follow him on Twitter @mannyotiko.

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