WINDOW DRESSING

This is a difficult column to send out, because it’s based entirely on our own reading of a situation we hadn’t truly expected: the plain, simple political gesture of seeming to hire Ben Carson to run Mr. Trump’s HUD.

We hadn’t expected this bow to inter-racial equality because Dr. Carson himself told us last week he didn’t have the experience to run a governmental cabinet department.  We believed him

Of course, we had under-estimated Donald Trump’s need for love.

Coldly, to put a man self-described as without requisite experience (and perhaps even interest) reeks of secondary motives.  May we hazard a guess that Mr. Trump is less interested in the fact that Dr. Carson became a loyal supporter and surrogate for the Donald during the final months of the campaign than the fact that this handsome, talented guy is black.   This is less a thank-you for services rendered than it is a pre-emptive thank you for future elections.

What a swell guy is Donald Trump for coming up with this particular nomination, right?

Our guess is that the Donald made a deal with Dr. Carson that Carson himself didn’t want to refuse:  a year’s service as Secretary of HUD and then (a) either his choice of a new and more suitable posting and (b) a government retirement pension on which Dr. Carson and his family could depend until the end of time.  There is one other genuine consideration for Carson: his color makes him unique within the cabinet , makes his “value” seem perhaps more than it is, and certainly (“according” to the way we think Donald thinks) can only help in 2020 when re-election time comes round.

Now this is not a fatal appointment.   We also believe in the brain-power and determination and skill of already ensconced assistants, under-secretaries, and HUD’s own bureaucracy.

What aggravates is that the appointment throws the proverbial monkey-wrench into a working pod that, given a leader with experience could, and can, do so much more to help needy constituents throughout the nation.

It is also perfectly possible that we under-estimate the real brain-power and skill of Dr. Carson.  There’s an even chance that once installed, he catches fire, has a terrific career, and does excellent work.

Then again, perhaps not.   We begin to think that transparency, that watchword of the entire 2016 campaign and election, can be too great a temptation for Mr. Trump.

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