Further clarity on Presidential Advisors

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As I was saying, Our Only President-Elect has the perfect right to choose his (or her) own advisers. If he chooses to be advised by his children and children-in-law, then asking for security clearance for them is perfectly appropriate. We don't actually know that he has done that, by the way, but it is completely appropriate to do the background check. If Hillary Clinton were President, I would want her to ask for an official background check for Chelsea Clinton, whether she would be a candidate for an official job or not. Should there be any reason why she would not pass such a check, well, that's an important thing to know.

Now, I think that there are excellent reasons to think that Donald Trump, Jr., Eric Trump, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner are terrible choices for close advisors to the President, including that none of them have any experience with government jobs, at least two of them have to my knowledge a habit of spreading racist propaganda, and they appear to all have vindictive temperaments. There are also good reasons for a President to choose advisors from a wider spectrum of backgrounds and views than one would normally expect to find within one's immediate family or even in-laws.

One of the things that I have found persuasive about Jon Bernstein's notions of representation and promise-keeping is that there is a sense in which candidates promise to be the sort of person were on the campaign trail. Or, I should say, that the candidates promise to continue to seem to be the sort of person they present themselves as. For the Presidency, part of that presentation is the selection of surrogates and advisors. I did not closely follow Our Only President-Elect's campaign, I'm afraid, but it certainly seemed to me that his children and Mr. Kushner were presented as being part of the inner circle that also included Mssrs. Bannon, Giuliani, Priebus, Conway, Lewandowski and Christie as well as Gen. Flynn and Dr. Carson, and (in a different way) Our Only Vice-President-Elect. While I dearly hope that circle will be widened and become more inclusive of different backgrounds and viewpoints, in relying on that circle he is, in this sense, keeping his campaign promise to be the sort of officeholder he seemed to be during the campaign.

As terrifying as that is. In a normal democracy, this is a Good Thing (and there are mechanisms to encourage it). In our new world… it is still best to assume that the President will be the Candidate, and to prepare for that.

Tolerabimus quod tolerare debemus,

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