The odd cabinet meeting in which Secretaries of various departments and White House staff heaped praise on Trump personally reminded some pundits of North Korean generals lauding their Great Leader. I saw only brief clips of the Trump cabinet meeting, and I think those pundits were right. What struck me is the way these supposedly competent people, with long careers and credibility at stake, have thrown all of that overboard and agreed to make the presidency about flattering the person of Donald Trump. The same thing happened when Trump convened a meeting of Republican Senators, ostensibly to talk about health care. Nah. They were there to perform their designated version of Hail the Great Leader.
Most, or all previous Presidents of the United States make at least some effort to talk about the job in terms of being a servant of the people, a defender of the democracy, a leader of the free world on behalf of democratic values. Even Lyndon Johnson, who was a tough negotiator in furthering his legislative priorities and a man of big ego, didn’t demand the kind of sycophantic adulation in which Trump revels. I don’t know which is more nauseating: that Trump demands it, or that these supposedly high profile and competent people give it.