Republicans Reluctant to Join Trump Administration

With literally thousands of positions still unfilled nearly 6 months into the new term, the Trump administration is having a difficult time finding Republicans to fill them. The Washington Post reports on the reluctance of many experienced Republicans to join a rapidly sinking ship.

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The array of legal and political threats hanging over the Trump presidency has compounded the White House’s struggles to fill out the top ranks of the government.

Trump’s firing of FBI Director James B. Comey last month and the escalating probe into Russian interference in the presidential election have made hiring even more difficult, say former federal officials, party activists, lobbyists and candidates who Trump officials have tried to recruit.

Republicans say they are turning down job offers to work for a chief executive whose volatile temperament makes them nervous. They are asking head-hunters if their reputations could suffer permanent damage, according to 27 people The Washington Post interviewed to assess what is becoming a debilitating factor in recruiting political appointees…

The White House disputed the notion that the administration has a hiring problem and noted that its candidates must be vetted by the FBI and the Office of Government Ethics before being announced publicly, which might contribute to the perception that there is a delay in filling key posts.

Uh huh. That was true of every previous administration too, but we’ve never seen so many open positions this long into a term before.

At this point, Trump has 43 confirmed appointees to senior posts, compared with the 151 top political appointees confirmed by mid-June in President Barack Obama’s first term and the 130 under President George W. Bush, according to data tracked by The Post and the nonpartisan Partnership for Public Service’s Center for Presidential Transition.

So the problem is not the background checks, the problem is that they simply aren’t hiring people, or nominating those who require Senate approval. At the end of April, after almost three and a half months following several months of the transition team apparently doing very little, they had sent up only 59 nominations out of about 600 open positions requiring nomination and approval. Since the beginning of may, they sped things up a bit and sent up 92 nominees. That’s still less than a quarter of the open spots. And that’s on top of the thousands of open positions that don’t require nominations.

What I said during the campaign has become so obvious that no one could deny it: Donald Trump wanted to win, he wanted to be president, but he has no interest at all in actually governing.

About Ed Brayton

After spending several years touring the country as a stand up comedian, Ed Brayton tired of explaining his jokes to small groups of dazed illiterates and turned to writing as the most common outlet for the voices in his head. He has appeared on the Rachel Maddow Show and the Thom Hartmann Show, and is almost certain that he is the only person ever to make fun of Chuck Norris on C-SPAN.