Monday, March 25, 2019

Which unqualified nominees get a reaction is revealing

It is interesting to watch the broad push back against Trump's nomination of Stephen Moore to on the Federal Reserve's Board of Governors. Moore is a hack, who is clearly unqualified for the job. He has no advanced degree in economics which is pretty typical of most fed nominees, he just comments about economics on TV, and has a long record of being hilariously wrong as he mindlessly pushes tax cuts for the rich as the remedy for every single economic problem. The Kansas City Star actually banned him from their op-ed page after he repeatedly misrepresenting facts to defend Sam Brownback's disastrous economic policies for the State of Kansas, Moore himself has admitted that he doesn't have a clear understanding of what a governor of the Federal Reserve does. So in one sense the resistance to this nomination is understandable.

And yet this is hardly the first nomination of a laughably unqualified person that Trump has made. Betsy DeVos' has no experience with any of the laws she would be required to enforce as Secretary of Education. While she had done a lot of advocacy on behalf of school voucher systems, there is no federal voucher program and there can't be without federal legislation, so her area of alleged "expertise" had nothing to do with the her job as Secretary of Education. She was confirmed with only two Republican defections.

Trump nominated Rick Perry to be Secretary of Energy, apparently based on Trump's misunderstanding that the job had something to do with oil (it doesn't) because Perry had been the governor of an oil-producing state and was in the pocket of the oil industry. In fact, Energy Secretary deals with nuclear issues and often requires someone with a background in physics. Most former Energy Secretaries had PhDs, one of Obama's Secretary of Energy had a Nobel Prize in physics. Perry, of course, was famous for being stupid. In fact, his most famous gaffe was when he was running for president flubbed his proposal to abolish the Department of Energy, the same department he was nominated to run,  but he forgot the name of the department. Rick Perry was  confirmed in a 62-37 vote, with every Republican voting for him plus the votes of 10 Democrats.

So why is Moore the one who has people rebelling? I suspect it is because the powers that be care if  some ignoramus crashes our economy. They don't care if a different ignoramus trashes our public education system and are not worried (for some reason) about nuclear security. This is all about priorities.