Sacrificial Lamb?

I smelled a rat a few weeks back but never wrote about it because it was just a gut feeling. About lunchtime on Monday Trump confirmed my suspicions. Let’s explore.

Without the bother of doing the research to get exact dates let me go through if not a timeline, a chronology of events.

  • Trump announces that he intends to nominate Stephen Moore for one of two open seats on the Federal Reserve Board.
  • Many (including me) criticize the move mainly because Moore is unqualified.
  • Several negative revelations about Moore’s personal life become public including problems paying alimony and taxes.
  • Trump announces that he intends to nominate Herman Cain for the other vacant seat. Putting the spotlight on Cain and to a large degree removing it from Moore.
  • Many (including me) criticize the move because Cain is even more unqualified.
  • A lot of Cain’s “dirty laundry” gets re-aired in public.
  • Cain states that quitting is not in his DNA.
  • Monday Trump tweets: “My friend Herman Cain, a truly wonderful man, has asked me not to nominate him for a seat on the Federal Reserve Board.”

At the fourth bullet point I smelled a rat. I thought at the time Trump made the announcement – note he never formally nominated Cain, or Moore for that matter – that Cain’s nomination was so outrageous that Trump might be using it to deflect attention from Moore’s nomination in the hope of getting at least one incompetent sycophant on the Fed. I decided not to write about my theory because it lacked facts and was solely basing it on my gut. My mistake!

Nobody asks to be removed from consideration – Cain was “pushed”. The missing bullet point is that Republican Senators Kevin Cramer of North Dakota, Cory Gardner of Colorado, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Mitt Romney of Utah all said they could not support Cain when his Senate confirmation came up. Couple that with the fact that nobody expects any of the 47 Democratic Senators to vote aye and the nomination was dead before it was ever formally made. (The reality is that the four Republican named above may well have been joined by several of their caucus mates.)

To set the record straight I am anything but a Herman Cain fan and certainly think his nomination to the Fed would have been a laughable matter if the Fed weren’t important. Since an independent and qualified Fed is necessary in order to take politics out of American monetary policy this is an extremely serious matter. Cain, and for that matter Moore, is neither independent nor qualified.

Trump is always cognizant of his base. I seriously doubt that Bubba is aware of the Fed’s function or really knows anything about monetary policy but they can tell color. Moore is white and Cain is black. Sacrificing a black guy in an effort to save the nomination of a white guy is perfectly fine in their book. In fact that is exactly how they think it should be.

That is exactly what I thought Trump would do and it appears to be exactly what he has done. Incompetence and self-interest coupled with racism – that is not the formula for a good administration!

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