Over the weekend, The Washington Post reported on the Republican plan to push through as many of Trump's Cabinet picks as they can as quickly as they can:
A top ethics official has warned that plans to confirm Donald Trump’s top Cabinet choices before background examinations are complete are unprecedented and have overwhelmed government investigators responsible for the reviews.
The impetus behind this move is clear: Trump's gaggle of billionaires will be the most corrupt group to ever run the executive branch of the United States. Bypassing a full review of their numerous conflicts of interest will allow Republicans to pull a fast one on the public, And then they'll be able to feign shock when scandal after scandal is uncovered.
According to the Post, Trump will also be giving a press conference on the same day several of his Cabinet picks are getting rammed through Congress. The intent here is clear as well: He will say something outrageous and the press will make that the story of the day, effectively burying any and all news the confirmation hearings will produce. It's a cynical manipulation of the media and is another test of their ability to hold Trump to account. Expect them to fail miserably.
What makes the entire spectacle even more unnerving is that Republicans are eager to go along with Trump's picks. His Cabinet will happily implement all of the anti-labor, pro-corporate policies the rich have paid the GOP to pursue. They smugly believe that they will be able to control Trump as a figurehead, that they will be running the country while Trump tweets about SNL.
But Trump taking control of the Ohio state Republican Party with little effort should make that smug smile on Mitch McConnell's face falter a bit. The first time Republican leaders cross Trump, they're going to suddenly find themselves the target of a man who does not recognize the legal, constitutional or even moral limits of his power. And once Trump builds the machine of self-reinforcing corruption he wants, he won't need or tolerate rivals like McConnell. They'll have to either fall in line or be removed.
For their part, the Democrats on the Hill are hoping to drag out the process and hopefully make it clear to the public that Trump's picks are not what people voted for:
[Washington senator Patty] Murray said in an interview last week that Trump “ran his campaign telling people he was about jobs and workers. Many of these nominees don’t share that view. Our responsibility is to make sure that we know what we are buying and the country knows what they bought.”
The trick will be to get the press to talk about how Trump's Cabinet is filled with people dedicated to permanently rigging the economy in favor of the rich. But with Trump waving shiny objects at the press to keep them distracted and Republicans doing everything possible to hide the staggering level of corruption coming our way, that's an uphill battle.