Saturday, April 01, 2017


We're ten weeks into the Trump presidency, and here, at Politico, is the 18000th leak-based story about staff infighting, by my rough estimate:
[Jared] Kushner's status as the big-issue guru has stoked resentment among his colleagues, who question whether Kushner is capable of following through on his various commitments and complain that his dabbling in myriad issues and his tendency to walk in and out of meetings have complicated efforts to instill more order and organization into the chaotic administration. These people also say Kushner can be a shrewd self promoter, knowing how to take credit — and shirk blame — whenever it suits him.

... In a move that's alarming the West Wing's hardline conservatives, Kushner is increasingly aligning himself with national economic adviser Gary Cohn, who’s participating in Kushner’s innovation office and a Democrat whose moderate political positions in some ways mirror Kushner’s own.

Kushner, the person familiar with his plans said, wants fewer zealots and less ideology in the West Wing — and is frustrated with the constant leaking and infighting that have characterized the administration’s early days.

“Everyone is jealous,” said one person close to the White House. Kushner is “the ultimate decider. Mostly people are jealous."
We'll pause here to note that we're learning about Kushner's desire to stop all the leaking thanks to -- yes -- a leak.

Stories like this continue to appear for an obvious reason: Donald Trump's management style pits individual against individual and faction against faction.

What this does is to turn every participant into Trump. We know that Trump didn't run for president because he had a well-developed vision of what he wanted to do for America -- it's all about ego and narcissism. Well, the problem with a war-of-each-against-all management style, one in which backstabbing-by-leaking is absurdly easy, is that it makes the participants forget that they ever had any ideas about what they wanted to do with political power. Everyone just becomes focused on #1. Everyone spends an inordinate amount of time seeking personal advantage and taking personal revenge. Staff leaks are like Trump attack tweets.

You don't have to like what the Trumpers want to do. But notice how much energy they're expending not doing it -- instead, they're leaking dirt about their enemies to The Washington Post and The New York Times and Politico and Axios.

Yes, the administration is getting some things done, and they're all bad. But they could have done so much more harm by now.

That's because the Trump management style turns everyone into a narcissist -- in other words, it turns everyone into Trump.

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