Rss@dailykos.com (mark Sumner) · Monday, March 27, 2017, 9:04 am
If you’ve been waiting for the moment when Donald Trump hands over power … good news! But Trump isn’t officially placing his magic marker scrawl on a resignation. It’s just that, after two whole weeks of trying to get a health care bill passed, he’s tired of all this talking to people and trying to make compromises. So it’s time to shake up America.
President Trump plans to unveil a new White House office on Monday with sweeping authority to overhaul the federal bureaucracy and fulfill key campaign promises — such as reforming care for veterans and fighting opioid addiction — by harvesting ideas from the business world and, potentially, privatizing some government functions.
Because, as the old saying goes, if at first you don’t succeed, sell it off. The fact that government is not anything at all like business, has never bothered Republicans. So it’s not unexpected that Trump might implement a WWWD (What Would Walmart Do) program.
It’s also not unusual for president’s to hand off some executive branch re-think to vice-presidents. Jimmy Carter did a lot to empower the office of VP, giving Walter Mondale a role that was greater than just figurehead. Bill Clinton explicitly aimed Al Gore at streamlining government processes. Joe Biden routinely took on major assignments, from implementing the stimulus package to directing resources against cancer research. And Dick Cheney … yeah.
So for Trump to hand over the task of reorganizing the executive branch to Mike Pence would make some sense. Except, it’s not Pence.
The White House Office of American Innovation, to be led by Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser, will operate as its own nimble power center within the West Wing and will report directly to Trump.
While Donald Trump is anxious to destroy existing offices and departments, he’s creating a brand new one, to be lead by his 36-year-old son in law, a man who has never held elected office, never stood for Senate review, and who isn’t screened out by nepotism laws because … no one knows why.