Opinion

Rick Perry as Energy secretary? Thanks for the laugh, President-elect Trump.

For many of our letter writers, the news about President-elect Donald Trump’s transition has done little to lighten their mood even the slightest bit — until Rick Perry was picked earlier this week as the next U.S. Energy secretary. 

The announcement Tuesday that former Texas Gov. Perry — who famously blanked during a 2011 Republican presidential debate when he tried to identify the Department of Energy as one of three federal agencies he would eliminate — would take charge of the body that builds and maintains nuclear weapons prompted readers to take a break from their doom-and-gloom pronouncements over Trump’s cabinet picks. 

Here are some nuggets of biting humor from our letter writers. 

George Paulikas of Palos Verdes Estates detects the hand of the Kremlin at play in Perry’s appointment:

What a clever ploy by that sly Russian President Vladimir Putin, getting Trump to appoint Perry to head the Department of Energy. 

Perry had promised to abolish the Department of Energy and, presumably along with it, the nuclear weapons laboratories of Los Alamos, Livermore and Sandia, thus weakening the U.S. nuclear deterrent.

This is unilateral nuclear disarmament at its best.

Manhattan Beach resident Gary Hartzell believes Perry’s forgetfulness can serve the nation well:

Political dementia may not be all bad. 

Perry forgot he wanted to abolish the Department of Energy in 2011. Now maybe he’ll forget to show up to the Senate for his confirmation hearings. Or maybe the senators will forget to hold the hearings. Or if he is confirmed, maybe Perry will forget to show up for work.

Any of those is preferable to restoration of his memory.

Bob Teigan of Santa Susana predicts some quiet meetings at the Trump White House:

Does it occur to anyone that Trump is nominating individuals to cabinet positions who have ambitions to handcuff the very departments they will be heading? In the case of Perry, he is on record (even if he forgot during the infamous GOP debate in 2011) as desiring to eliminate the department he now desires to lead. 

Is this an ingenious method for the incoming president to cut government spending by abolishing all of these departments? That would make for very boring Trump cabinet meetings in the future.

Irvine resident Carl Mariz draws a historical parallel to Rome:

Trump’s choice of Perry to head the Energy Department reminds me of the story of Roman Emperor Caligula appointing his favorite horse as a consul. Unfortunately, Perry can do far more damage to America than Caligula’s horse could do to Rome.

Ron Levin of Pacific Palisades suggests some additional vetting for cabinet secretaries:

Is there any chance of adding an IQ test to the Trump cabinet screening process?

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