Congressional Confirmation Process Broken
We should be able to trust that our congressional representatives will keep bad people from becoming decision makers in our government. Donald Trump’s actions and appointees have exposed the weakness in the system. It’s time to take a hard look at how people are nominated and how the confirmation process works.
Trump bombastically promised that he would hire only the best people. He said that he would employ extreme vetting in not only those he wanted in his cabinet, but those who would be allowed to participate in the governing of our great nation. In the less than three years President Trump has been in office, more than one hundred people have left his administration. Most embarrassingly, there is a Wikipedia page dedicated to those who have left Trump behind.
On the morning news, we learned the fate of the UK Ambassador to the US, Sir Nigel Kim Darroch. He has resigned in light of leaked classified documents in which he called the Trump administration “inept,” and described Donald Trump as “insecure” and “incompetent.” Obviously, Trump had to “punch back,” as he calls it. But his rambling rants on Twitter were not only less than diplomatic, they proved Darroch’s point. In his resignation, Sir Kim said, “The professionalism and integrity of the British civil service is the envy of the world. I will leave it full of confidence that its values remain in safe hands.”
Donald J. Trump has no integrity. The quality of being honest and having strong moral principles is not part of Trump’s fiber. Being pals with Putin, Xi and Kim Jong-Un degrades the office of President. Letting Saudi Arabia murder a journalist with no consequences clearly shows how Trump is a compromised, corrupt politician. Keeping a sleezy Secretary of Labor on his team after learning about his conduct in Jeffrey Epstein’s case of sex trafficking in Florida and New York is just another brick in Trump’s wall of insecurity, amoral behavior and lack of patriotic grounding in law.
We don’t get to vet the President of the United States. People vote and sometimes the system gives us a turd. Richard Nixon was fecal matter of the highest order. Trump is just today’s version of the kind of tragic mistakes possible in our imperfect experiment of Democracy. But unlike happenings in the lands of kings, tyrants and dictators, we can fix this blunder.
The misery and distress arising from the lack of teeth in Congress becomes more insidious every week. Maybe the people in our two houses of government are too old and afraid to use their political power to bite down hard on those the President sends for confirmation? Maybe it’s time for more young, aggressive representatives to push candidates for important roles hard up against the wall of scrutiny?
The lack of incisive questioning on Alexander Acosta’s involvement in the Jeffrey Epstein plea deal is proof that this system is broken. Acosta should have never been approved. We saw a similar lack of proper process in the Bret Kavanaugh hearings.
Listen up congressional people! I get the idea that when “your” president sends someone up to the hill for confirmation, you are to do your “duty” to protect the person from real scrutiny and vetting; but it’s wrong and must stop. When the votes are counted, your decision to confirm a person can become a giant stain on your reputation. Many of the more than one hundred people who have left the White House were never examined as part of Congressional oversight. Some were just hired hands who couldn’t pass FBI security checks, yet they landed in positions with major responsibilities. Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump have no business occupying their positions in this administration, but no one is holding Trump’s little hands to the fire.
I know businesses that do more vetting and review of potential employees than this administration does. And it’s not just Congress’ fault. The free press must do its job and dig into these lies and lives and reveal the truth about them. Had the Julie K. Brown article about Epstein in the Miami Herald appeared a day before his confirmation hearing, Acosta would have never been confirmed. After all, the damn Department of Labor oversees investigations into human trafficking, the very charge Acosta let Epstein worm his way out of, producing one big fat sloppy happy ending for the billionaire.
Is Congress brain dead or do they not have the intellect or courage to investigate what is right before their very eyes? I was impressed by Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’ questioning of Michael Cohen during a recent hearing. She asked him if Trump was inflating the value of his properties to garner large loans and deflating the value of his enterprises to the IRS for a better tax deal. Good question? Yes! Republicans on the same panel were fixated on reminding us that Cohen is a known liar rather than calling on the IRS to investigate Trump and his companies about tax and loan fraud. This may end up being litigated after Trump leaves office, but it shows exactly where the two-party system disrupts the important work of oversight. It’s why we must wait so long for bad apples to be plucked from a government we should be able to trust.
This system has been weakened by time and partisan politics. It’s time we elect some straight shooters to upend the apple cart so we can see all the rotting fruit. Trump’s message to drain the swamp was successful because most people believe it’s a needed effort. Sadly, Trump didn’t help the situation. His appointments and hires have been and will continue to be purely political. He even placed people into departments or administrative bodies after they claimed they thought those roles should be eliminated. The ignorance of one man has weakened this nation.
If the result of disruption, is the rebuilding and restocking of a government with better people, then one can justify stirring the pot. But what Trump has rendered is nothing short of letting the fox run the hen house. After all the hens have been eaten, and all the foxes leave for the greener pastures of private practice, what will we have left in our government? It’s become a place where talented and gifted people no longer want to belong. Trump has fucked up the law, the environment, diplomatic relations with allies and, tragically, has made America a meaner, more divided populace. Congress needs to get its act together and throw the bums out, especially the douchebags in their own chamber.
BRAND NEW BOOK ON AMERICA
Gold, God, Guns & Goofballs shows how we’ve wasted our GOLD on bad wars and corruption. While GOD is there for many people as a spiritual enrichment and the provider of glowing feelings, the truth is just praying and believing will not change our major arc. We don’t determine who gets a GUN. We aren’t sure if we have paramilitary groups ready to storm the White House or a White Castle. There is no control of weapons. The GOOFBALLS with the power constantly try to manipulate us into spending more money on bombs and tanks and wars. When all of our institutions are infected with neglect and fall in disrepair, we will only have ourselves to blame. This book is not an antidote for the left or right, it’s an accelerant to move the middle off their collective asses to go do something positive for America.