Cabinet of Curiosities
As I have discussed elsewhere on this site, I do not actually believe that Donald Trump, the scrapings from the bottom of a dumpster behind an overpriced steakhouse, actually represents some dire worst-case scenario for America. I don’t even think he varies much from the average Republican, and the party’s mortal terror of him has nothing to do with his actual policies and everything to do with the fact that they think he is such a complete buffoon that he will cost them electoral victories. (Were his opponent anyone other than the Hillary Clinton Democrats, I’d say they were right.)
Trump is certainly a racist. He calls Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas”, describes Mexicans and Muslims as an existentialist threat to America, and probably has trouble conceptualizing of black people other than Omarosa, the guy who shines his shoes, and whatever misguided African-Americans happen to wander into his gathering of nitwits. But this is only to say that he makes explicit what the Grand Old Party has made implicit for the last five decades, and since we’re not voting for him to become the Great Sun of the 21st Century, it’s unlikely that he’ll be able to execute any of his more flamboyant promises, such as erecting a border wall with Mexico or deporting our Muslim population. It’s kind of a bummer that he wants to, but it’s also kind of a bummer that our current administration already does, so let’s call that one a push.
Trump’s social policies are probably going to be as liberal as befits a guy who likes hanging out with Hollywood celebrities, and while he’ll probably stock the Supreme Court with conservatives, I don’t see him as ideologically strict enough to give the G.O.P. exactly what it wants. After all, one of the things that’s gotten him in trouble with the gasbags at the National Review is that he’s far more liberal on what we might term Supreme Court issues than they’d like, and his nominees are more likely to be of the Anthony Kennedy variety than they are the likes of Roy Moore. That’s also not ideal, but the point is, Trump isn’t looking to stock the SCOTUS with Abnegazar, Rath, and Gast. Foreign policy-wise, Trump is liable to continue America’s inept and murderous patchwork way of addressing the Middle East, but I don’t quite buy that he’s a Greg Stillson type who’s going to rain nukes down on the first country whose prime minister treads on his loafers. That ‘nuke-Europe’ stuff is strictly for the suckers, and he managed to have a TV show for twelve years without throwing anyone out a window. Of course, he’s sought the advice of helpful war criminal Henry Kissinger, but that just makes him one step behind the Democratic candidate, and whatever bullshit proxy war his neoconservative advisors convince him to start in the Arab world or South America probably will be slightly less costly than our fun adventure in Iraq, if for no other reason than Trump is cheap.
What’s more interesting to me if Hillary Clinton somehow manages to fuck this one up is what Trump’s cabinet is going to look like. I can only assume the position of Vice President is already spoken for as part of God’s ongoing ritual humiliation of Chris Christie for being such a fat asshole, but who would Trump deign to listen to on a regular basis? Although his current schtick is pretending he knows everything and would just run all the affairs of state himself, with presumably a gaggle of chimps or wannabe reality stars as his cabinet, it is unquestionable that Berlusconi Arancia will quickly get bored of having to memorize things like the location of foreign countries and which senator most recently called him a fuckhead.
How you think Trump is going to govern depends largely on why you think he’s running in the first place. I suppose there are a lot of people who think he really is a crypto-fascist demagogue whose desire to ‘make America great again’ is at least partially sincere and is going to be put into action by all manner of reactionary nationalist violence and who knows what else. I am too familiar with Trump, whose vendettas tend to be against hot dog vendors and recalcitrant judges, to think that the man has a genuine bone in his overfed body, and tend instead to think he is running some kind of long con. If he manages to get into office, it will be for little reason than to spend four years setting himself and selected dinner guests up to loot the public treasury for the next couple of decades. It is for that reason that I think his cabinet will resemble more a collection of second-rate boiler room hacks and stock-dumpers than the ruthless ideological criminals of the Fourth Reich.
Trump has a lot of good options for Secretary of State, since the vermin who lied us into war with Iraq are still crawling around Washington collecting think tank money, but in the end I don’t think he really cares enough to put his trust in any of them. He’ll do the gladhanding himself with whatever foreign bank bosses he wants to secret away his retirement money with, and probably will appoint Wikipedia to be his chief foreign policy advisor, bragging to the press that he knows all about Belgium, with its 30,528 square miles of terrain and quality educational opportunities at the Antwerp Marine Academy. He’ll pick some latter-day Arthur Laffer type to head up the economy and blow a bunch of America’s pension money on a goofball pyramid scheme before going back to good old-fashioned deficit spending, and his Secretary of Labor will be his favorite bellhop from the Trump National Doral in Miami. His AG will be whatever lawyer he has sharking contracts on The Apprentice, and he’ll put someone like Giuliani or Joe Arpaio in charge of Justice as a sop to the rubes, but the rest of the cabinet will just be giveaways to the Republican Party establishment in exchange for letting him blab his way through the convention and for getting off his dick the rest of the time. It’s going to be a wonderful eight years*!
*: Program subject to change.