It’s astonishing how corrupt and scandal-plagued the Trump Administration continues to be. We found out yesterday that EPA head Scott Pruitt was given a townhouse condo to live in by an energy lobbyist friend for a mere $50 a month, which would be a career-ending ethics scandal in any other administration, but now competes for headlines with any number of continuing Trump horrors. All the heads of Trump’s agencies seem to have three things in common. They are manifestly unfit to run their agencies. They despise and/or previously sought to destroy the agencies they now run. They are using their agencies as a means to pad their gold-plated lifestyles with unprecedented travel expenses (and in Pruitt’s case, incurring large taxpayer-funded security costs on a non-official trip that he took to Disney and the Rose Bowl).
The fish rots from the head, as they say, and this repulsive baronial excess is congruent with the way King Trump has lived his life, both before and during the presidency. His agency heads are taking their cues from him. In fact, Trump went to his golf course to play a round yesterday for the 104th time since taking office, so between golfing and watching Fox “news” and tweeting in the mornings it’s hard to imagine him doing much “president” work at all.
But Trump did contemplate an official action at one of his narcissism rallies recently, musing about pulling our troops out of Syria and stopping our fight against ISIS altogether. If Vladimir Putin had a geopolitical wish list, America withdrawing from Syria would be right near the top, so it’s difficult to fathom why Trump thinks this is a great idea unless Putin holds some sort of magical sway, or kompromat, on him. But looking for a policy principle or reasoned strategy in the Trump White House has always been like looking for a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
Rep John Faso is on Congressional recess right now, and he’s certainly meeting with all variety of campaign donors, but the thousands of people in his district who are horrified and enraged by the dangerously inept and corrupt Trump team will have to look elsewhere for comfort or leadership, which have never come from Faso and never will. Faso will continue to push for policies that benefit the Mercer class while hurting the middle class until we repeal and replace him.
As we approach Spring, the Congressional primaries will be fast upon us. We should strive to stay engaged and informed about the candidates, and endeavor to make a choice that reflects our values and principles. And above all, we must support whoever gets the nod. The time for nit picking and infighting evaporated in November of 2016, and our paramount priority has to be wresting power from the Republicans who are determined to ruin as much of our environment, safety net, education system, government and democratic norms as possible while they still hold all the levers of power. We can start by firing Faso.