The sun rises near the White House on Nov. 8, 2016 in Washington, DC. 
Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty

In Trump’s White House, even the policy guys aren’t policy guys

Donald Trump’s White House is dysfunctional for a variety of reasons, but the near-constant staff churn has clearly taken a toll. Politico  reported the other day that when staff secretary Rob Porter was forced to resign over domestic-abuse allegations, Chris Liddell took on some of Porter’s responsibilities.

People familiar with Liddell’s approach said he is working to expand the decision-making processes put in place by Porter…. But it’s unclear whether Liddell, a New Zealand-born former corporate executive, has enough sway with the president to successfully caution him against rash moves.

“Chris Liddell is not a policy guy,” said the former administration official.

Jon Chait noticed the problem: Chris Liddell’s current title is deputy White House chief of staff for policy.

In other words, in Donald Trump’s White House, one of the top policy guys “is not a policy guy.”

It’s one thing for an amateur president who is wholly indifferent toward the substance of governing to surround himself with wonks and subject-matter experts who can help pick up the slack, but in this case, we’re seeing largely the opposite.

It’s post-policy thinking at its most obvious.