With less than a week to go before Donald Trump is sworn into office, a blitz of confirmation hearing have been taking place on Capitol Hill, and as expected it’s been a circus.
Senate committees have been hearing testimony from a slew of Trump nominees, including Attorney General hopeful Jeff Sessions, Defense Secretary James “Mad Dog” Mattis, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
Needless to say, none of them passed the smell test.
In fact, I don’t think there has ever been a more offensive and lackluster group of men who have sought the highest offices in the land. Every single one of them displayed why they are not qualified for their respective positions and why they should not be confirmed.
To start, Sessions. The Alabama senator has a bleak and uncompromising voting pattern when it comes to LGBT rights and the rights of black Americans. His resume is so bleak that the NAACP and the Human Rights Campaign have allotted Sessions with highly unfavorable ratings, revealing a dismal “devotion” to the rights of minorities and the historically oppressed.
To go from Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch to Jeff Sessions would be a miraculous undoing of social progress made in the last eight years.
Aside from the fact Mattis has only been retired for three years — and thus does not qualify for the “civilian” post that is Defense Secretary — his hawkish and seemingly war thirsty aggression towards ISIS, coupled with his admission that the DOD should pursue ISIS with even more force, sets the tone for an oncoming war against an ideology that mirrors the failures of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts. Although his experience and social views remain promising, a potential war with Trump at the reigns is utterly terrifying.
Even though Carson admitted on live television that he is in no way prepared to take on a cabinet position, there he was on Capitol Hill, ready to take over control of the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Unable to promise that federal money would not land in Trump-affiliated businesses (including the Trump Organization), Carson immediately disqualified himself.
A simple “No, there will be no conflicts of interest,” would have sufficed.
Carson has also criticized the HUD for what he perceives as unfair and failed racial experiments and favoritism. Much like Sessions, Carson fails to grasp the realities facing urban black America, their plight and the remedies needed to address and solve it.
Finally we come to the arguably most important position, Secretary of State.
Succeeding John Kerry may be the most inexperienced nominee in history, Tillerson. A man with no foreign or diplomatic credentials, Tillerson was the former CEO of ExxonMobil, from 2003 until his nomination in 2016. As CEO, he violated U.S. sanctions against a foreign country, Russia, Tillerson has unquestionably close relationship to Russian president Vladimir Putin, and has expressed archaic views about women and gays in foreign service, a complete rollback of policies initiated at State.
These men have absolutely no idea what they are doing, or what they are dealing with. We have bigotry at the DOJ, oil at the DOD, Ayn Rand 2.0 at HUD and Russia’s puppet at DOS.
The Senate should put blind loyalty aside and do what’s right — vote down these unqualified and dangerous nominees.