The Administration

Hate a government agency? Trump just might ask you to lead it.

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President-elect Donald Trump’s choices for his Cabinet and other important positions can be summed up with one word: bizarre.

Individuals are selected not because they have a record of supporting the very idea and mission of a particular department or agency.

{mosads}No, quite the opposite. They have views and have made statements that challenge the very essence of the departments they have been selected to lead.

The most recent example is Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt (R) to be the head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Pruitt goes so far as to brag on his LinkedIn page that he is a “a leading advocate against the EPA’s activist agenda.”

Pro-environment groups are shocked and terrified by the choice of Pruitt to lead the agency charged with protecting the environment. Rhea Suh, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council, could not make the case against Pruitt any clearer. Suh was quoted in The Washington Post saying the following:

“Over the past five years, Pruitt has used his position as Oklahoma’s top prosecutor to sue the EPA in a series of attempts to deny Americans the benefits of reducing mercury, arsenic and other toxins from the air we breather: cutting smog that can cause asthma attacks … “

Trump also picked Betsy DeVos to be secretary of Education. The billionaire voucher advocate has spent decades advocating for, organizing and giving money to groups that undermine and demonize public schools.

How can she be put in charge of this department when she has done everything in her power not to be an ally or friend to public school education?

The choice of Dr. Ben Carson to be secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) probably ranks as the most bizarre. Previously, Carson stated that he did not want to be in the government at all. He candidly said that he was not prepared to run a huge federal department.

A department which he has some expertise in — Health and Human Services — he reportedly turned down. Instead, he said he “had a change of heart” and would now accept the appointment to head up HUD.

This is the same person who has constantly questioned the role of the federal government in helping and aiding people who have been economically disadvantaged. Carson has absolutely no practical experience in the field of housing.

He is eminently unqualified.

He was chosen not for his brilliance or experience in the field of housing or urban development.

No, he was chosen solely because he early on decided to make a strategic decision to forget all the awful things Trump said about him during the primaries and become one of his chief surrogates.

Carson tied his political fortunes to Trump and now he is being rewarded.

This article would not be timely or relevant without commenting on retired Lt. General Michael Flynn’s appointment as national security adviser. That position requires a person with enormous skills of diplomacy and discretion.

Flynn has already demonstrated he has neither of those qualities.

His tweeting of fake news has been downright creepy. Why would Trump select someone of this caliber to such a critical and sensitive position?

I know there is a belief that those who were not for Trump are seizing on these picks just to criticize and make Trump look bad.

No, I would gladly applaud and commend those choices which make sense.

In a country of 320 million people, I know there are plenty of people who would be well-suited and impressive for Cabinet position. But right now, the trend is definitely downward.

Who’s next? John “Bombs Away” Bolton as secretary of State?

Mark Plotkin is a political analyst, a contributor to the BBC on American politics and a columnist for The Georgetowner. Follow him on Twitter @MarkPlotkinDC.

The views expressed by contributors are their own and not the views of The Hill.

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