Friday, November 11, 2016

Swamp eager to help drain swamp

Joseph Fishkin

This is a very short post and a very simple thought.  One question on many people’s minds, including mine, has been who Trump will actually hire to run the federal government.  Even if he would like to hobble some parts of it, running it requires an enormous number of people.  These often might come from places like the president’s campaign policy shop—but Trump’s was a farce whose members finally quit when he didn’t pay them—or the party’s permanent Washington establishment, whose relationship with Trump is complicated.  To be clear, it’s not a question of will there literally be enough people.  Even if you run through the A- B- and C-lists, there’s always a marginally qualified hack eager for a big job.  It’s a question of which directions the sheer need for staff effectively drags the new administration.

In foreign policy especially, there’s some danger that more experienced Republican foreign policy people will sit this one out to a sufficient degree that a new President without experience or relevant knowledge or skills will surround himself with fringe ideologues who also lack those things.  Hard to predict.  But in domestic policy, especially in areas where there are regulated industries, it’s rapidly becoming very obvious where the staff are going to come from.  It’s that swamp Trump asked voters to send him to office to drain.  It’s literally K street, plus industry itself.  In other words, “drain the swamp” was a con on an epic scale.  He will in fact “drain the swamp” only to the extent that “swamp” refers to either Hillary Clinton or squeaky-clean Barack Obama.  They will be out of office and perhaps subject to further investigations by this Tribune of the people or his congressional allies.  Meanwhile the actual swamp will be running the federal government.

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