When it came time to discuss the week in review on Friday's PBS NewsHour, they picked a familiar first topic: Disorder and chaos at the Trump White House. The exits of Rex Tillerson and Gary Cohn (and the rumored ouster of H.R. McMaster) caused all the usual tumult.
David Brooks, who is somehow described as the Republican or conservative half of the pundit panel, dismissed the ascent of men liked by the conservative movement as the worst kind of public servants, the C or D level of Republican aides, because they're too ideological.
Trump expects loyal servants who praise him, Brooks said, "a process of constantly having to suck up to the president...you have always got to please the prince. And you have always got to play in a princely manner." As in how David Brooks wrote of how he admired Barack Obama's "perfectly creased" pants? Then he unloaded on Kudlow and Bolton:
DAVID BROOKS: And what worries me is, they never had really access to the Republican A-level staff, but they had the B-level. And now we’re going down to C and D. Larry Kudlow, a new economic appointee, very nice guy, I agree with him on a lot of things. But Philip Tetlock, who is a scholar who studies decision-making, several years ago identified Kudlow as one of the worst decision-makers, because he’s always driven by ideology. John Bolton is talked about coming in to the national security adviser. That’s a job where you want somebody neutral to let the process work its way.
John Bolton, who is a Fox News analyst, is anything but neutral on anything. And so what you just see is worse personnel, more chaos.
Since everything Brooks said would please the average liberal fan of PBS, liberal analyst Mark Shields proclaimed, as usual, “I agree with David.” Then he want on a tear about how Bobby Kennedy, and he worked for Bobby and looked better because he worked next to "one of the great men of the 20th century." Talk about pleasing the prince in a princely manner.
Later, the PBS panel fancied the idea of a GOP primary challenge to Trump in 2020, perhaps by retiring Sen. Jeff Flake --the man who couldn't win his own state election this time around. That didn't look like it would succeed at this point, but Shields was still positive, with this odd bit of praise: "To Jeff Flake’s credit, he’s an insurrectionist."