To quote Woody Allen: “This is a travesty of a mockery of a sham.”
Continuing to pick the least qualified people to fill his cabinet, it looks like President-elect Donald Trump may choose Montana’s Rep. Ryan Zinke to be Secretary of the Interior.
Zinke’s background in managing federal lands, waterways, wildlife and fish, natural resources and National Parks consists of … nada. He was an early adapter to Trump’s campaign and it paid off. But it could still be a risky move. He’s leaving a safe U.S. House seat and hitching his wagon to an eventual falling star.
I suppose Montanans are excited by the prospect of having one of their own in a cabinet position. I’m not one of them. I’d prefer someone with a basic understanding of science as it relates to prairies and forests and wetlands. Someone who understands sustainability. Someone who won’t, despite his denials, auction off our public lands to the highest bidder. Someone who sees the value in wild, expanded, connected lands before they’re all gone.
Is there an upside? Perhaps Sen. Jon Tester is breathing a sigh of relief that he may not have Zinke as an opponent in 2018, although I think Tester would beat Zinke, especially as the Trump administration goes down in flames. It will be interesting to see if Tester votes to confirm Zinke.
Perhaps even more interesting is who the Republicans will choose as his replacement: a place holder or someone who will seriously vie for the job when a special election is held next year, and who will the Democrats choose to go after the seat?
More later as events warrant and the appointment actually materializes.
UPDATE: It appears that the governor won’t be choosing a replacement for Zinke. The U.S. Constitution trumps (no pun intended) the Montana Constitution on this matter. There will be a special election, next year, supposedly around 100 days after the Zinke resignation. This should get interesting.