This Trump appointee is too rancid even for some GOP senators

Trump makes him DoD’s top policy guy anyway

A conspiracy nut who called President Obama a “Muslim terrorist”

President Trump nominated Tony Tata to be Undersecretary of Defense for Policy, but withdrew him from consideration after the nomination stalled in the Senate Armed Services Committee because of opposition from GOP senators in addition to the committee’s Democratic members.

Tata then was designated as “the official Performing the Duties of the Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Policy reporting to the Acting Undersecretary of Defense for Policy,” with the same duties. Read story here.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with a conservative President appointing someone with strongly conservative views to a policy position. However, when an appointment is subject to Senate confirmation, this kind of end-run around the confirmation process is not only an abuse of process, but violates the political authority of the senators entitled to a say in the appointment.

Unfortunately, it’s typical of how Trump either doesn’t understand or chooses to ignore the rules of our governing system. It’s been said Trump’s supporters love his “norm-breaking” style; in this context, breaking norms is equivalent to lawlessness. Sure, some people in this country would rather live in a rightwing dictatorship than a democracy, and I’m sure that’s one reason they support Trump. And he, for his part, caters to that mentality to a certain extent, although he hasn’t gone whole hog with it yet.

Ideology and philosophy aside, the practical problem with this way of thinking, is that it works both ways. If they take our country down that path, it could come back to bite them when the shoe is on the other foot; i.e., if a rightwing strongman can do it, then so can a leftwing strongman. And setting a precedent makes it a lot easier. These folks don’t exactly have a lot of foresight.

So what is it about Tata that makes him so toxic even key Republican senators won’t confirm his appointment by their party’s president?

Here’s Wikipedia’s brief bio on Tata:

Anthony Jean Tata (born September 7, 1959) is an American retired United States Army officer, author, and government official. He is a retired brigadier general of the United States Army (1981–2009), and later served as a school district administrator for two large school districts in the District of Columbia and North Carolina. He served as Secretary of Transportation of North Carolina from 2013 to 2015 under Governor Pat McCrory. Tata is the author of the Threat series of thriller novels. Since leaving public office, he has been a regular on Fox News, and offers pro-Donald Trump commentary and promotes conspiracy theories. He has falsely claimed that Barack Obama is a Muslim and ‘terrorist leader’ and promoted a baseless conspiracy theory asserting that the CIA sought to assassinate Trump.” [Italics added for emphasis.]

Yup. That’ll do it.

Other details of his bio: Acrimonious divorce from his wife, effectively booted out of the Army for having extra-marital affairs, allegedly submitted forged evidence to a court relating to child support, and was fired from the school district job. (Read entire Wikipedia article on Tata here.)

Trump chose him for a policy job? The Defense Department’s top policy job?

I’m voting for someone else in November. Somebody who respects the Constitution and Congress, doesn’t have character issues of his own, and appoints reputable people to sensitive policy jobs.

As the yard signs proliferating in my neighborhood say, “Any Functioning Adult 2020.”

Photo: Ex-Brig. Gen., ex-school superintendent, and fiction writer Anthony Tata

0 Comments Add Yours ↓

  1. Puns #

    A GOP hot “Potata” appointment.

  2. Roger Rabbit #

    🙂 It took me a moment to catch the pun. You’re punny.