Markos Moulitsas: Filling the swamp

Markos Moulitsas: Filling the swamp
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Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpNew EPA rule would expand Trump officials' powers to reject FOIA requests Democratic senator introduces bill to ban gun silencers Democrats: Ex-Commerce aide said Ross asked him to examine adding census citizenship question MORE was elected president — with nearly 3 million fewer votes than Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonBiden to debate for first time as front-runner Top Trump ally says potential Amash presidential bid could be problematic in Michigan Chaotic Trump transition leaks: Debates must tackle how Democrats will govern differently MORE — promising to “drain the swamp” in Washington. He’s spent the month since the election restocking it with more alligators.

We’ve always known that Trump’s world revolves around himself. But one might believe that he’d at least pay lip service to the decided minority who delivered his undeserved, Russian-backed victory. Instead, he can’t bother to give a damn about even his strongest nonwealthy supporters.

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Take Trump’s choice for the Department of Labor, Andy Puzder. The fast-food CEO is among the strongest business proponents of lax immigration laws, seeking cheap labor to flip burgers. He was a strong supporter of the 2013 Senate effort at comprehensive immigration reform, save for one provision: the one that called for more border security.

So despite launching his campaign on a call for draconian and xenophobic immigration policy, Trump nominated an immigration advocate to helm the one agency that enforces immigration law in the workplace. That’s potentially good news for the nation’s undocumented working population, but not so great for folks who voted for a massive border wall and mass deportations. As Breitbart — the website that most ardently supported Trump this year — complained, “pro-American immigration reformers and advocates for higher-wages are hammering Donald Trump’s selection of a cheap-labor, migration-boosting employer to run the Department of Labor.”

But Puzder isn’t an anomaly. Trump is nominating primarily lobbyists, Wall Street cronies, and the ultra-wealthy to helm Cabinet departments, and in so doing, he is just pouring more sludge into the “swamp.” During the campaign, he ran an anti-Semitic ad accusing Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein of being part of “global special interests.” Yet when it came time to pick his Treasury secretary, he picked 17-year Goldman Sachs veteran Steven Mnuchin. Apparently, Trump wanted a piece of those global special interests for himself.

And remember when Trump campaigned against the wealthy elite, posing as a populist? 

“You need to look no further than our last couple presidential nominees,” said Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway a month before the election. “I think this party was veering dangerously close to being the party of the elites, and yet Donald Trump is really giving voice to the workers.” So how has Trump given voice to those workers?

His choice for secretary of Commerce is billionaire Wilbur Ross; his choice for the No. 2 job at Commerce, Todd Ricketts, is a billionaire; his choice for secretary of Education is billionaire Betsy DeVos; his choice for the Small Business Administration is billionaire Linda McMahon; and Puzder and Mnuchin themselves are worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

George W. Bush’s Cabinet had a combined net worth of $250 million. Trump’s stands at $2.5 billion. Number of working-class people in his administration? Zero. So much for giving them a voice.

And then there’s the old Washington political hands given administration promotions: Sen. Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsTrump: Appointing Sessions was my biggest mistake Nikki Haley blasts Roy Moore's Senate bid: 'He does not represent our Republican Party' Time magazine: Trump threatened reporter with prison time MORE (R-Ala.); Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.); Rep. Mike -Pompeo (R-Kan.); party chairman Reince Priebus; and Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellEXCLUSIVE: Trump on reparations: 'I don't see it happening' Overnight Health Care — Sponsored by Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids — Trump issues order to bring transparency to health care prices | Fight over billions in ObamaCare payments heads to Supreme Court Hillicon Valley: Senate bill would force companies to disclose value of user data | Waters to hold hearing on Facebook cryptocurrency | GOP divided on election security bills | US tracking Russian, Iranian social media campaigns MORE’s (Ky.) wife, Elaine Chao, as secretary of Transportation — her fifth administration appointment under a Republican president. The current inhabitants have no interest in draining their current, swampy home.

Meanwhile, the Republican-led Congress refused to consider extending healthcare benefits to retired coal miners, abandoning a group that swung Trump’s way by a 4-1 margin. No longer necessary to win an election, they have been tossed aside like every other key group supporting Republicans this year except one — the guys now sitting in his Cabinet.

Moulitsas is the founder and publisher of Daily Kos.