Like rats fleeing a sinking ship, a slew of Trump administration officials have resigned their posts following Wednesday’s riots. As of this writing they number more than a dozen: The first to abandon ship was Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao; the most recent, acting secretary for the Department of Homeland Security Chad Wolf, who announced his resignation Monday evening.
In between, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, Deputy National Security Adviser Matthew Pottinger, Deputy White House Secretary Sarah Matthews, and Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband were among those to step down, relatively high-level officials in the administration. And surely other agency heads and advisers will continue to make last-minute exits from the White House—probably up until the day of Biden’s inauguration—in self-serving attempts to salvage their reputation in D.C. politics.
This is all fine by me. It’s laughable that this is where they’ve finally decided to draw the line, and cowardly that they’ve waited so long. But since they’ve all had some part in carrying out Trump’s agenda, it’s probably better for them to vacate their offices than to help facilitate the destructive plans he has in mind for his final days as president.
At the same time, with so many officials resigning, it does naturally lead one to wonder: Is anyone in charge around here?
Trump is occupied with his private dramas, or else trying to cement his “legacy.” He’s reportedly not speaking to Mike Pence; his inner circle of enablers has grown smaller, and so has the government of sycophants he’s assembled over the last four years (though most of the people who have abandoned their posts have worked for Trump for far less time).
Traditionally, the transitional time between one president and the next is supposed to be quiet and uneventful. Wednesday’s riots coupled with the slow drip of officials making a break for it gives one the feeling of complete disassembly, with little promise of reconstitution: Biden wants to “heal” the country, but by skipping over the accounting that it would require to do so.