December 7, 2016

This Week in Trumpkinland: Trump's Team

City Dope

U.N. Ambassador, y'all.

Trump’s team is raggedy af. It’s like a shitty bootleg version of a presidential team, like if subpar cabinet members could be bought “3 for 5” out at J&J Flea Market. Almost daily, we are witnessing how far the fall will be from the Obama Administration. Exhibit A: UN Ambassador nominee Nikki Haley, current governor of South Carolina.

Obama’s ambassador to the United Nations is Samantha Power, a former Harvard professor with a Pulitzer Prize to her name, awarded for Power’s scholarship on genocide and geopolitics. Gov. Haley has a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Clemson, bless her heart. Maybe she can help foreign leaders with their Excel spreadsheet issues. Otherwise, I’m not sure how well a provincial politician with no international expertise will perform against skillful representatives of governments that actually take foreign policy seriously.   

Haley’s parents were born in India. This is central to every lede one reads in the political press, the suggestion being that Trump selected Haley for the international body because of her parents’ birthplace. To a team led by a white supremacist and a cretin, I guess this signifies some kind of magical, a priori prowess in international relations. Never mind that Haley, born Nimrata Randhawa, has been to India only once, neither speaks nor understands the Punjabi of her parents (and in fact speaks with the Southern lilt of a Dixie debutante), traded her parents’ Sikh faith for Christianity and demonstrates no qualifications or requisite training for the job. The only real experience she has in international relations was negotiating the removal of a foreign government’s flag from the statehouse grounds in South Carolina, 150 years after that breakaway republic lost its war against the U.S.

Another mystery appointee to Trump’s cabinet is Steven Mnuchin. Mnuchin, said by Vox to have “no known qualifications or views,” was tapped to be Trump’s treasury secretary, the principal economic advisor to the president. During the campaign, Trump said he’d “drain the swamp” and end the improper influence of elite special interests in Washington, but I have it on good authority that Mnuchin represents the Lollipop Guild. Mnuchin? Really? You ain’t fooling nobody. But what we do know is that Mnuchin, a former Goldman Sachs investor like his father, represents the uppermost financial elite. What does a second-generation Wall Street aristocrat do to make his mark after making all the money? Put his name on all the money.