Sins of the past are catching up with Donald Trump and quickly! To people of my generation this is like reliving Watergate only at warp speed. The biggest differences between the eras are the speed and methods of communication along with the proliferation of media outlets covering the presidency and reporting on it 24/7. While somewhat similar Trump and Nixon are actually very different and the repercussions of that are what I’d like to explore today.
Richard Nixon was a professional politician. He had served in both the House and the Senate along with spending eight years as Dwight Eisenhower’s Vice President. He was in his second term as President when he met his demise. He had been a major figure in the Republican Party for decades and had made many friends along the way.
Donald Trump is a political novice. He never ran for or held political office prior to his election as President. He hadn’t even been a Republican for a long time. He was not part of the “network” of major GOP donors. He did make political donations but they were in anticipation of favors, not ideologically driven. To be honest most elected Republicans didn’t much like him and still don’t. Trump lacks political skills and rolodex of political friends.
Over four months into his Presidency and still about 80% of the politically appointed slots remain vacant. That is not because of Democratic obstruction in the Senate conformation process (where spots require confirmation) it is because Trump hasn’t nominated anyone for the Senate to consider confirming. Other than incompetency in the transition Trump is having a difficult time getting people to accept the nominations. The top tier of GOP operatives don’t want to be associated with what they feel is a sinking ship; and the recruitment is getting more difficult with each day’s news.
Who wants to be an advisor to someone who won’t listen, has an extremely limited attention span, is ignorant of even basic governmental function and won’t accept responsibility for anything to the point of throwing his staff under the bus? Another huge consideration is the legal expense of having to “lawyer up” if you get caught in one or more of the ongoing investigations; at least one of which threatens to get much bigger.
There was much talk of a White House War Room to handle Russiagate. It would have to be staffed with lawyers and communications pros. Top notch political communications people won’t come on for the reasons listed above and lawyers are turning Trump down among other things because he has a reputation for not paying his legal bills. Handling what appears to be a losing case for a President that looks like he won’t complete his first term pro bono isn’t exactly a good business move for a lawyer with plenty of paying clients.
This reminds me of two stories. A to remain unnamed major league baseball player was asked if he would play for the New York Yankees. For some reason he didn’t like the franchise. He replied, “No! And Hell no!” That is the closest thing to profanity I ever heard come out of this man’s mouth and I spoke with him scores of times.
As I was transitioning into the town I currently live in a politically connected friend, knowing of my background, asked me if I would be willing to serve on the Planning Board if he arranged an appointment for me. I politely declined saying I was done with organized politics. As I was relaying the story to another politically savvy friend a few weeks later he finished it for me with the reply that was in my mind: “No! And Hell no!”
No! And Hell No! is the answer Donald Trump is hearing a lot these days.
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