Acting Cabinet Secretaries

Lea Ecker
4 min readSep 18, 2019


What’s That All About?

What’s up with that? President Trump was quoted as saying, “I like ‘acting’.”

Image by Jackelberry from Pixabay

Is that it? He just likes the churn at the top of every agency in the U.S. Government. Is that a bad thing?

I wonder. Most presidents, according to the Washington Post article I included above, have had the majority of their cabinet positions chosen, vetted, and ready to be sworn in on the first day of their administration. Then, there was generally very little turn over during the course of their terms. Not so with Mr. Trump.

So what is it? The President is famous for prizing loyalty above all else in the people who work for him. As he said during his campaign, he’s out to “drain the swamp” and hire “only the best people.”

A look at the history of his appointees, though, paints a very different picture. Of those he’s hired, several had to be summarily removed from their posts due to illegal shenanigans. A couple of examples being extraordinarily high-priced dining room tables for their office and unnecessary SCIFs, and so on. Other nominees and acting nominees were just so inappropriate, they were rejected even before their appointments.

A conservative friend of mine thinks it’s great that these posts are sitting vacant. Their belief is that it’s saving us money. We’re not paying a salary and we’re cutting the fat from the government. Win — win, in their opinion. Not to mention all the laws not being passed to interfere with the free run of mega-corporations to do whatever they want. Well. I guess.

I think this whole avoidance of appointing actual cabinet secretaries is more sinister. After all, President Trump himself admitted that he’d never thought he’d win the Republican nomination in 2016. He actually said the whole thing was a lark to get free media attention for his businesses. After the nomination, he didn’t think he’d get voted in as President. After his win, he thought it was a great chance to use the government as his own private marketing agency to promote his existing businesses and acquire new ones.

Think I’m kidding? Nope. Take a look at Jared Kushner’s travel since he’s been an advisor to the President. Daughter Ivanka and son, Don Jr. have taken some trips too. All of them supposedly on government business but it’s amazing how much work they do for the family businesses while they’re out and about on the taxpayer dime. New Trump hotels in the Middle East? Sure. Need to prop up a foreign country’s small airport to rescue your failing golf course? Force the military to use that airport, more expensive by the way, than using the traditional military stop-over spots. Why not? Can we say grift? Can we see conflict of interest? Can you spot the breaking of several constitutional amendments? He’s been recorded as saying this whole Constitution is just getting in his way.

Another thing that bothers me. The President makes “jokes” all the time about going for a third term. It’s not a joke. He’s serious. All those empty cabinet positions? That means he has placed people in his cabinet who haven’t been vetted, are personally loyal to the President, and therefore, do whatever the President wants them to do, regardless of the effect it has on the American people To my mind, they work for Trump, not for the citizens of this country.

Given the President’s predilection for changing or eliminating laws on his own say so, taking the budget of whatever department he feels like taking it from, and spending our tax dollars on any project that’s his pet of the moment, I don’t have a good feeling about this. If Congress or anyone else objects, he hires whole companies of lawyers to delay any argument and fight off any pushback. There’s no one in his cabinet standing up for the citizens and saying, “No. You can’t do that.”

To me, this looks like a takeover. He’s eliminating any checks and balances. He’s stacking the government deck, filling it with supporters who will do whatever he wants. When the judge’s benches are filled with his supporters, who’s going to say no when he decides a third term is the best thing? Afterall, he’s already used to just signing a decree and making new laws by executive fiat. I read a few days ago that he’s liking this whole mob boss, or is it dictator, role and is planning to promote his family as the next political royalty, a la, the Kennedy’s. In my humble opinion, the Trumps don’t have the brains or the class for it.

I’ve heard that the Judiciary Committee of Congress is reviewing the rules of Impeachment. To my mind, this is none too soon. Hurry, before the President brings down the entire country.



Lea Ecker

Retired military, old as dirt, tired of all the crap. This is me, speaking up about it.