Chaos: The White House In Shambles


Leonard Zwelling

The list is long and growing. It is the list of the people who have worked for Donald Trump and no longer do. That list is too numerous to enumerate any longer. Hope Hicks is just the latest. She will undoubtedly not be the last. Jeff Sessions seems to have a tenuous hold on his job and Ben Carson has no grasp of the obvious in a job he should never have gotten. Clearly his MD degree and years as a surgeon prepared him to be a discerning purchaser of dining room furniture, but not the head of a federal agency. Did he take lessons from Ron and Lynda?

It is a true testimony to the greatness of the work of the Founding Fathers that the country can endure Congressional leadership as poor as McConnell and Ryan that is joke worthy and a President who is a punch line and yet keep itself out of war, if where we are today is out of war. The troops in the Middle East might disagree with that assessment.

MD Anderson went through this, too.

It had a Faculty Senate of limited power by statute. Even today, the true power of the Faculty Senate is not what it should be. I believe that if true shared governance is to be effected at MD Anderson, the autocracy that has been the presidency of MD Anderson since the institution’s inception needs to be counterbalanced with an equally strong faculty representative body. Few academic institutions have such a relationship between the faculty and the executive leadership, but there is nothing in the academic model that would preclude such a thing. It may be hard to find people willing to be president under the circumstances of limited absolute power. On the other hand, you might be able to find the right kind of leadership through the identification of a leader who believes his or her power should be limited and who would actually like to jointly oversee operations with a faculty elected body.

An oversight board centered in Houston would be advantageous as well. They would also function like the Supreme Court determining what actions are permissible and which ones color far outside the lines. Dr. DePinho did not like coloring within those lines and Dr. Mendelsohn was not fond of such lines either.

It could happen.

It is really up to Dr. Pisters how he grasps the true needs of the faculty, staff and patients of MD Anderson and begins to carve out a strategy to advance the needs of all three.

The chaos that befuddles the White House is an accurate representation of the confusion that is the mind of the President of the United States. He is neither a thoughtful nor bright man with a rudimentary grasp of the English language and a lack of concern for anyone’s needs beyond his own. My guess is that he will be sending the daughter and son-in-law packing shortly now that Jared the Younger has lost his security clearance. It’s hard to negotiate Middle East peace without access to the most sensitive information emerging from the region.

This White House is a mess. Let’s hope the upper floors of Pickens begin to take shape shortly and that the resultant governance is both shared and organized.

Leonard Zwelling