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Trump is toxic. He infects everything he comes in contact with, and the resulting decay is permeating society, government, and the world order. Over the past fifteen months it has been asserted that if only he would adhere to the norms of propriety as they have evolved over the past 230 years or so we would all be okay, despite his sophomoric efforts to lead the country. A case in point, many have argued that if he only took heed of the talent that exists in the Republican Party and allowed seasoned and experienced political and policy advisers populate the ranks of government his impulsive proclivities could be tempered. At least checked to a tolerable level. But not only does he refuse to do so, it seems he encourages his staff to do so as well.

larry kudlow

The recent rebuke to U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley proves that even seasoned and experienced players on the Trump team are so eager to fill the void in responsible leadership that they too are incapable of performing at an acceptable level of competence. Larry Kudlow, the President’s recent appointment to head the National Economic Council, is a long-time Washington, D.C. power player. I was a professional staff member to the U.S. Senate Budget Committee during the 1980’s and remember him as a valued member of Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director David Stockman’s supply-side warriors. He should be one of the adults in the room. Well, welcome to the clown show, Larry; you are officially a clown in the circus.

Even this accomplished policy/political actor has within two weeks of his appointment managed to find himself in the middle of a s@#tstorm that seems to be the trademark of the Trump administration.

As Associate Director of Economics and Planning at OMB he often appeared before the Budget Committee to make the case for an economic theory that was unproven yet popular among the Republican majority that controlled the Senate. As a member of the loyal Democratic opposition I can honestly say there was little doubt that he was intelligent and polished to the extent that he presented an interesting challenge to those fighting what future President George H.W. Bush would label “voodoo economics.” He should be considered an example of the quintessential Washington insider. Yet even this accomplished policy/political actor has within two weeks of his appointment managed to find himself in the middle of a s@#tstorm that seems to be the trademark of the Trump administration.

I am no Nikki Haley fan, although I have found her professional demeanor and measured tone as our Ambassador to the U.N. at least somewhat comforting during her short tenure. It very well may be that her distance from the Trump spider web affords her both an incentive and some freedom to act, well, professionally. So when she announced that additional sanctions would be forthcoming on Russia on Sunday it was with begrudging acknowledgment that I thought maybe there were cooler heads prevailing in the Trump cocoon. Those faint hopes, however, quickly evaporated within 24 hours as the President promptly either changed his mind or reacted with impulsive and definitive rejection of his counsel to the world’s nations.

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We have come to expect this kind of treatment from the President as everyone seems to get their chance to be thrown under the bus. In his peculiar and brutal management style there is one and only one policy spokesman: namely, Donald Trump. Then along comes Kudlow, who could not stop himself from weighing in on the Haley comments, for whatever reason, by saying essentially that she must have been confused.

To Haley’s credit she issued a terse rebuttal basically saying she does not get confused, which promptly forced Kudlow to issue an apology. What in the hell is with this gang that simply cannot shoot straight? How can anyone trust anyone else? Worse, however, how can world leaders take anything anyone, most prominently the President, says on any given day?

This is only the latest example of the astounding degree of incompetence, ineptitude, viciousness, and sheer lack of protocol and professionalism that now serves as the 2.0 version of the swamp that was supposed to be cleaned out with the arrival of Trump and his henchmen and women. Inevitably miscommunication and sloppiness will have lethal consequences. This is truly dangerous and unacceptable.

So welcome to the club Larry. You have now managed to exhibit a classlessness that rivals your peers, Pruitt, Zinke, DeVos, Carson, Flynn, and countless others who have departed or still occupy positions of power in the government.

[/dc]I[/dc]f Nikki Haley wishes to pursue ambition for higher duty that is quite obvious to all observers she may wish to jump ship now before she too becomes tainted by association with Donald Trump. His absolute need to demean, embarrass, and bully those who either present a threat to his authority, which includes anyone with the audacity to question decisions dictated by impulse and/or revenge, is contagious. Enlisting with this administration is an invitation to ridicule and shame. Everybody loses in the end.

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Lance Simmens