Donald Trump is making slow but steady progress in selecting his presidential cabinet. For Stephen Colbert, it’s “like watching your nana get a sponge bath—you know it has to be done, but it’s still upsetting.” His reasoning is, in part, that Trump seems determined to pick people with either a) no experience in or b) extreme animosity toward the department they’re about to run.
The most glaring example is Scott Pruitt, whom Trump has tapped to lead the EPA. Pruitt hates the EPA. He’s currently suing the EPA. He thinks environmental regulation should be conducted at the state level, some typical Republican boilerplate that really just means deregulation. (State and local governments do not have the same resources to police polluters and clean up their messes, and, as Colbert pointed out, toxic chemicals do not have much regard for state lines.) Pruitt is a climate change denier. It’s safe to say that he will not maximize the effectiveness of the EPA.
Then there’s Ben Carson, Trump’s secretary of Housing and Urban Development. Carson not only has no experience at all in the field; he’s questioned the role of HUD and of public housing, period. As Ana Marie Cox put it in a great breakdown of the appointment for MTV News:
But we do know a little about how Carson views HUD. He compared the Obama administration’s campaign to move public housing out of minority and low-income neighborhoods to forced busing, calling it a “socialist experiment.” In a Facebook post about heading the agency, he talked about “making our inner cities great for everyone,” though one suspects he really meant “great for everyone already there.” He also mentioned “ensuring that both our physical infrastructure and our spiritual infrastructure is solid.” I’m not sure with which I trust him less.