There are three branches of government, and two are in serious distress

Dan Balz writes: There are three branches of government, and two of them are in serious distress. What once passed for governing and leadership has become a spectacle of disservice by people who call themselves public servants.

The dramatic collapse of Republican efforts to change the Affordable Care Act provides Congress an opportunity to repair itself by returning to something approaching bipartisan lawmaking. It won’t be easily accomplished.

The executive branch has been a cauldron of turbulence. Just ask Anthony Scaramucci, the swaggering, newly named White House communications director, who predicted fewer than 48 hours ago what unexpectedly transpired late Friday afternoon: Reince Priebus, the White House chief of staff, was ousted.

The White House today has been a feuding, conniving band of officials vying for the affection of President Trump, who seems to encourage, even revel in, the chaos around him. Trump named John F. Kelly, the Homeland Security secretary, as chief of staff. The president called the retired Marine Corps general “a star.” But can he truly change the culture? [Continue reading…]

The chaos around Trump is chaos he has created. Incorporating Kelly into this culture seems to have less to do with diminishing the dysfunctionality and more to do with instilling fear.

Trump seems to have less interest in a so-called competitive environment than one in which there is pervasive mistrust. So long as all his subordinates view each other with suspicion, there is little chance of rebellion. Those who end up getting fired, suffer such humiliations that rather than speak out after being unintentionally liberated, they show all the signs of remaining captive to Stockholm syndrome.

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