From 2004 to 2015 President Donald Trump was one of television’s biggest stars with his own self-promoting TV show, The Apprentice. Americans tuned in to watch the New York real estate mogul put wannabe business players to task before grilling them and eventually telling one of them, “You’re fired!”
He even said it when bossing around celebrities and sports stars on the Celebrity Apprentice in 2008.
While his temperament and antagonist tone made for great television, it makes for a lousy presidency. Only six months into his presidency, Trump’s firing and hiring of cabinet members has turned American democracy into his own version of the show he called home for 11 years. This is bad for America, bad for the Oval Office and bad for conservatism in general.
According to The Washington Post, since taking office, President Trump has fired five people and threatened to fire eight. In chronological, order he’s fired Acting Attorney General Sally Yates, U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara (New York), FBI Director James B. Comey, Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and, most recently Director of Communications Anthony Scaramucci, who lasted a whopping 11 days.
He’s threatened to fire his sons Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, Special Prosecutor Robert S. Mueller III, Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, White House adviser Stephen K. Bannon, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and White House press secretary Sean Spicer, who resigned upon Scaramucci’s hiring.
That is a lot of high-ranking, well-connected, fully capable people in a short amount of time. Many of them were vocal supporters during the campaign. This list isn’t even mentioning people he fired during the campaign and during the transition period. Remember when Chris Christie was in charge for, like, five minutes?
The reasons seem odd, too. Scaramucci, a vile, outspoken friend of Trump’s, had made crude comments about cabinet members using sexually aggressive language.
“The president certainly felt that Anthony’s comments were inappropriate for a person in that position,” new press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said. “He didn’t want to burden [incoming Chief of Staff] Gen. Kelly, also, with that line of succession.”
Since when has Trump felt that any comments on his team were “inappropriate?” The hypocrisy alone is gagging.
While not “fired,” Sean Spicer quit immediately after Scaramucci was hired as director of communications. That was the straw that broke the beaten camel’s back. Many will not miss Spicer, except maybe the Saturday Night Live staff writers.
According to The New York Times, Spicer thought that Scaramucci’s hiring would add to the confusion and uncertainty already engulfing the White House. So it took Scaramucci and not Trump to create a moment of conscience?
Many of these people will be able to find respectable work consulting, but the one who might struggle is former RNC head Priebus. After selling his soul to support Trump, Trump was able to get his last piece of revenge against the GOP establishment by hiring and firing Priebus. He literally just made the Republican Party his own.
Upon news of the firing, anti-Trump conservative David French tweeted: “[Priebus] empowered Trump again and again. Reince was tireless in defending, excusing, empowering, and enabling Trump.”
Sadly, Priebus is still defending the man who embarrassingly let him go. When asked if he feels OK about his time with Trump, he answered, “It’s absolutely worth it.” He then referred to the appointment of a conservative Supreme Court justice, Trump’s regulatory reforms and building a healthy economy. What dirt does Trump have on this man?
When asked if Trump’s brand of Republicanism conflicts with more traditional conservatism, he snapped back with, “We are not in competition with the conservative movement; we are part of the conservative movement.”
That’s where he is wrong. The conservative ideas of John Kasich and George Will are the blueprint to conservative success, not bully pulpits and crass hirings and firings. Trump has made it impossible to pass real reforming legislation because he made himself the news in place of the agenda. Three more years of this and the GOP will have no message, except, “Get in line or you’re fired!”
“We have a Republican president, a Republican Senate and a Republican House,” Priebus told an interviewer. “I have no regrets at all.” You sure about that, Reince?