On a straight party line vote, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee voted late yesterday to approve Scott Mugno’s nomination for Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA. All the Republicans voted for; all the Democrats against. Mugno must be approved by the entire Senate, the vote unlikely to take place until January.
Some have questioned why someone as accomplished (or as relatively unobjectionable) as Mugno could receive no Democratic votes. After all, as I’ve said before, he’s no Scott Pruitt or Ben Carson. In other words, he’s not an ideologue bent on destroying the agency — and he’s certainly knowledgeable about the issues facing OSHA (if not the budget). And Obama’s pick, Dr. David Michaels, lost only two Republican votes, mainly objecting to the fact that the committee did not hold a hearing on his nomination.
But these are different times. These days one has to view Mugno and all Trump appointees in the context of the entire administration — or more precisely in the context of who the President is: the blatant racism and sexism, the total disrespect for the office of the Presidency or even democracy itself, the failure by the President or Republican Congressional leadership to make even a modest attempt to work on a bi-partisan basis, the open hostility of the President and many of his Cabinet appointments to any sort of worker, environmental or consumer protections, the efforts to destroy the agencies that enforce those protections, and on and on.
Unfortunately, no Trump nominee — no matter how honorable his or her intentions to serve the country, no matter how dedicated his or her personal work history — can escape the taint that this President has brought on what was once an honor to serve your country.
My opinion — as if you didn’t already know that. Feel free to disagree. That’s what Comments are for.