Wednesday, March 28, 2018

What did Donald Trump do today?

He once again fired a cabinet secretary in a tweet, and replaced him with some guy.

Trump announced the firing of Secretary of Veterans Affairs David Shulkin in a pair of tweets this afternoon. This is also how he fired former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, although in this case it appears Shulkin may at least have been given some advance notice before the Twitter-based pink slip.

Shulkin's firing was not entirely surprising or unjustifiable--he's one of a number of senior Trump administration officials who have been caught paying for lavish personal luxuries or wasteful extravagances with taxpayer funds. 

Trump chose Adm. Ronny Jackson to replace Shulkin. Jackson is the White House physician who conducted Trump's recent physical examination and--almost certainly more important, from the perspective of the television-obsessed Trump--looked good during his hour-long press conference afterward. (Jackson was, unavoidably, bound by doctor-patient confidentiality not to reveal anything Trump didn't want him to, which at times left him talking for minutes on end about Trump's "good genes.") Shulkin's performance helped mediate the damage that Trump had done with his bizarre declaration on Twitter that he was a "very stable genius."

The only other candidate Trump is known to have considered, Pete Hegseth, is also a TV fixture--much like other recent appointees John Bolton and Larry Kudlow.

The Secretary of Veterans Affairs is responsible for one of the largest bureaucracies in the government, with about 375,000 employees. Jackson has no administrative experience.

Why does this matter?

  • Government jobs should be given to people who have some relevant qualifications or experience.