Why is Trump such a bad judge of character?
The hallmark of a good manager is the ability to vet and hire good employees. President Trump's record is not especially encouraging.
1. Chief of Staff. Trump's first chief of staff, Reince Priebus, lasted only six months because he was weak-willed and couldn't maintain order. Why, then, did Trump hire him?
2. National Security Adviser. Trump's first national security adviser, Michael Flynn, lasted little more than a week after it was revealed that he had lied about contact with the Russians. Why wasn't Flynn more carefully vetted? Trump's current national security adviser, H.R. McMaster, is strongly rumored to be heading out the door, perhaps replaced by John Bolton, whom Trump met with recently. Why didn't Trump vet his second NSA pick any better than his first?
3. Secretary of State. Rex Tillerson is the latest to be let go. Trump hired him because he liked Tillerson's "swagger." Before hiring him, how long would it have taken to find out that Tillerson had incompatible views on North Korea, Iran, and the global warming treaty? Five minutes? Ten minutes? Again, another hire not at all vetted.
4) Communications Director. Trump is getting ready to hire his fifth communications director. Most notable was #3, Anthony Scaramucci, who liked to publicly brag that he doesn't make love to himself. Why was such a man even hired? Why does Trump have to fill a position five times in order to hire the right person? Could a monkey throwing darts at a stack of résumés do any worse?
5) Secretary of Defense. James Mattis is still on the job a year in. But he has clashed with the White House, saying he is against enhanced interrogation techniques for terrorists, something Trump campaigned on, and he supports keeping transvestites in the military and paying for their mutilation procedures. Why was this man hired?
6) Secretary of Veterans' Affairs. David Shulkin was an Obama holdover whom Trump selected for the job. Was it any surprise, then, that Shulkin opposed partial privatizations of VA medical care? Trump is said to be planning to replace him with Rick Perry. What intelligent person would have appointed Shulkin in the first place?
7) ICE Director. Trump has appointed Obama holdover Thomas Homan as head of ICE. Homan is famous for "escorting" illegal alien children to different parts of the country and conducting phony immigration raids where the targets are warned in advance. Why would someone concerned about border security select him for the job?
8) Javanka. What in the world are Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump doing in the White House? What skills qualify them to work there? Jared was deemed so vulnerable to foreign persuasion that he couldn't get a top-level security clearance. Foreign leaders were wiretapped bragging about how they had manipulated him. At least Bobby Kennedy was somewhat qualified to be attorney general. Is the North Korean method of hiring family members as senior aides really what we want to see in the White House?
Trump has made a few good picks, notably Attorney General Jeff Sessons, Neil Gorsuch for the Supreme Court, and Mike Pompeo at the CIA. But he's made many, many more bad ones.
I prefer Trump's incompetent conservatism to Hillary's incompetent leftism, but I still aspire for more.
Questions for discussion:
1. If Trump is so brilliant, why has he hired so many terrible appointees?
2. If you picked names at random out of a local phone book to hire for Cabinet posts, would they do worse than Trump's selections, on average?
Ed Straker is the senior writer at Newsmachete.com.