There’s much to be said about the still-unpossible fact that the shitgibbon is now president. But in this day one of our national experiment in test-to-destruction governance, there’s something…missing.
That would be a government. Or at least, an administration.
There are roughly 675 Federal positions that require Senate confirmation.*
There are some four thousand more jobs to be filled by direct appointment, and while many of those are minor, many are not.**
So that’s the hole. How far along is Trump to filling it?
Well, according to The Washington Post‘s tracker, Trump has so far sent 30 names to the Senate.*** None have been confirmed. By comparison in 2009, six Obama cabinet nominees were confirmed as of the inauguration, and four more followed the next week.
And even if/when all those nominated so far do make it through the Senate process, they’ll be doing — or rather not getting done all the work of the senior management of their departments.
Foreign policy? We ain’t got none, for the time being, no matter how often Trump bellows “America First!” There are no appointees at State below the secretary level. That’s not “none-confirmed.” That’s none, as in not a single deputy, assistant, or under secretary has yet been named.
We’ve got no boots on the ground either. In a break with prior custom, Trump demanded the resignation of every serving ambassador as of today. With only three as-yet unvetted, much less confirmed, ambassadorial appointments, and dozens yet to be made, the US is without its head-of-mission everywhere. While it’s true that politically appointed ambassadors have professional staffs that are still in place, the fact remains that our international representatives aren’t there.
Same goes for the national security apparatus. The odious and unfit Michael Flynn does not require Senate confirmation, so he’s on the job. He’s got no help though:
Trump has made one other NSC appointment, tapping retired Gen. Keith Kellogg to be NSC chief of staff. And some reports indicate that Matt Pottinger, a former Wall Street Journal China correspondent who joined the U.S. Marines and grew close to Flynn, may become the NSC’s director for Asia.
It ain’t going to get any better any time soon. Flynn’s in charge of filling out his org chart, and, as the same Politico article notes, he’s making a mess of it: (more…)