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The Real Obstructionist

Monday, Donald Trump tweeted “Dems are taking forever to approve my people, including Ambassadors. They are nothing but OBSTRUCTIONISTS! Want approvals.”

Never mind how hypocritical it is for a Republican to call Democrats “OBSTRUCTIONISTS” (again with ALL CAPS and an added exclamation point!), when the Republicans wouldn’t even hold hearings for Obama’s Supreme Court nominee for 10 freakin’ months (and if Clinton won, they had threatened to obstruct it indefinitely).

Trump also wants you to ignore that, according to PolitiFact, Republicans blocked more individuals nominated by Obama (79) than were blocked under all previous presidents in total (68).

And never mind that Republicans control both houses of Congress, and with the filibuster eliminated for all nominees, complaining about Congress being slow approving nominees and blaming it on Democrats is ridiculous. If the Democrats are such obstructionists, how in the world did Neil Gorsuch get confirmed to the Supreme Court?

The most hypocritical part of Trump’s Twitter tirade is that by far the biggest reason Congress has not approved Trump’s nominees is because Trump hasn’t nominated anyone for 79% of the open positions. There are 559 jobs in the executive branch that require confirmation by the Senate, and Trump has not nominated anyone for 441 of them.

Of course, it is hardly any surprise that Trump can’t find people who want those jobs. Given how much he undercuts and contradicts even his highest level staff, why would anyone take a job under such a terrible boss?

Trump even had trouble finding a law firm to represent him in the Russia investigations reportedly “over concerns that the president would be unwilling to listen to their advice“. If you are known for not listening to the people you hire, you won’t ever be able to hire good people.

In the tweet, Trump specifically mentions “Ambassadors”. There were 54 Ambassador positions to be filled in total, and compared to many of the executive branch positions, it should be relatively easy to find people who would take those jobs. Trump has nominated people for only nine of those, and four of them have been confirmed. So Trump is complaining about five ambassadors who have not been confirmed, while he hasn’t even nominated anyone for 45 ambassadorships. That means that 90% of unfilled ambassador positions are Trump’s fault.

With Trump, the buck never stops there.

Also published on Medium.



  1. Jonah wrote:

    Wapo theorizes he is trying to appeal to his base ie the 30 or so percentage that through rain or snow adamantly stand by him. Based on his think skinned personality I agree. Its truly sad that the most powerful guy on this planet is making decisions to make him feel better.

    The “liberal” forbes is claiming Trump siphoned money off kids with cancer. New meaning to MAGA

    Wednesday, June 7, 2017 at 3:34 am | Permalink
  2. Jonah wrote:

    Brownbacks tax cuts have been discussed on this site on numerous occasions so this may be noteworthy

    Wednesday, June 7, 2017 at 7:44 am | Permalink
  3. Anonymous wrote:

    Jonah: That would make sense for anyone but Trump. I really don’t believe he plans anything, he just shoots from the hip.

    Wednesday, June 7, 2017 at 10:06 am | Permalink
  4. Wildwood wrote:

    Anon, I sort of agree, but I’m beginning to think it might not be always true. The timing of many of his “ideas” and texts are often just prior to another bombshell from the press. With Comey testifying tomorrow, it will be interesting to see what he is saying in his tweets in the wee hours before the testimony. I don’t know if there is a lot of thought going into this, (although there might be), but I think in the early morning hours, when he knows something bad is coming, his instinct is to strike back or distract.

    Wednesday, June 7, 2017 at 12:28 pm | Permalink
  5. j. wrote:

    I think Wildwood’s got it.

    Wednesday, June 7, 2017 at 1:10 pm | Permalink
  6. redjon wrote:

    To be accurate, and I have not checked the numbers but only the above… If there are 54 ambassadorships to be filled and Trump hasn’t nominated anyone for 45, then he HAS nominated 9. If four have been approved, then that is less than half of his nominees and “only” 83% of the unfilled positions are Trump’s fault.

    Wednesday, June 7, 2017 at 1:30 pm | Permalink
  7. PatriotSGT wrote:

    I fully agree with your point about Republican OBSTRUCTIONISTS in the congress. They are total losers, not worth their pay.

    Wednesday, June 7, 2017 at 4:51 pm | Permalink
  8. Iron Knee wrote:

    Redjon, you’re right. I misread the article, which says “Of the 54 ambassador positions open, five have been nominated and four have been confirmed.” I took that to mean that a total of 5 have been nominated, and four of those have been confirmed. But I think it should have been “5 have been nominated but not confirmed, and 4 have been nominated and confirmed.”

    I’ll fix my post.

    Wednesday, June 7, 2017 at 9:59 pm | Permalink
  9. Wildwood wrote:

    The State Department lists 6 current ambassadors on it’s website, if I’m not mistaken. But that’s out of how many needed? I think we have over 150 embassies around the world and I don’t know exactly how many consulates and missions, (but it’s more than 50). Were the heads of the consulates and missions fired as well? If there are that many embassies, why are there only 54 positions open?

    Thursday, June 8, 2017 at 8:22 am | Permalink
  10. Thatguy wrote:

    Wildwood, I believe the discrepancy is between “career” and “political” ambassadors. The former being folks who have worked in the foreign service previously and the latter being the cushier and/or more visible roles that go to friends/associates of the President. Career ambassadors seem to have survived the culling, while political appointees did not.

    Thursday, June 8, 2017 at 9:01 am | Permalink
  11. Wildwood wrote:

    Thanks greatly Thatguy. I looked all over for a list like that and could not find one. I obviously need to improve my searching abilities. It looks like 8 nominated and 4 confirmed out of what I counted as 62 vacant. I have no idea if the vacants are career or political, but I’m guessing all are political, with no one listed for nomination. I did notice a nomination for a Calista Gingrich to the Holy See, (is that his latest trophy wife?). That would be a cushy appointment. I could stand some time in Rome. And poor Scott Brown is packing up for New Zealand and Samoa. They do suffer for their country don’t they?

    Thursday, June 8, 2017 at 1:57 pm | Permalink
  12. Thatguy wrote:

    Getting Scott Brown out of my beloved New England is one Trump action I can believe in.

    Friday, June 9, 2017 at 2:05 pm | Permalink
  13. Wildwood wrote:

    Thatguy I feel for New Zealand and Samoa. There are so many, here in Missouri that I would like to send overseas that it would take a mass migration.

    Saturday, June 10, 2017 at 8:34 am | Permalink