His Royal Highness Ryan Zinke

His Royal Highness Ryan Zinke

He rode into Washington on a horse the first day of his tenure as Trump’s Interior Secretary.  He was facing forward, at the time, but he should have been turned around and facing the horse’s rear.  Because that is what he has looked like ever since taking office.

Ryan Zinke had been a congressman from Montana, a former navy SEAL, and a local businessman before Trump picked him.  He left the Navy in 2008, but he should have stayed there.

He’s been anything but impressive since he assumed leadership of the Department.  During a major Health Care Vote in the Senate, he made it known to Senator Lisa Murkowski that were she to vote against the bill (which she did in the end), her state of Alaska would suffer in future federal funding decisions supporting Arctic drilling.  That was a huge and illegal act of political blackmail by the Executive branch.

As if that were not enough to make his mark in Washington, Zinke’s been flying all over the place on tax payer funded trips in private planes belonging to Republican donors and flagrantly violating the law by participating in political fund raising events and skiing excursions with his family.  A real public servant to be proud of!

But, all those acts of “indiscretion” pale in comparison to what has just been noticed at the Department of the Interior.  Flying high, literally, at the top of the Department’s Washington headquarters is a white flag, positioned just below the American flag.  It is Zinke’s flag, and it is raised on top of the building every time he is in the building and lowered every time he leaves.  There is actually someone with the responsibility (and paid by the tax payers) for raising and lowering the Zinke flag.  When noticed by the press, Zinke called it “a major sign of transparency.” 

Transparency, hell.  Is that what the Queen of England calls it when her flag is raised over Buckingham Palace when she is in residence?   

Trump has made a whole lot of very poor senior appointments.  Ryan Keith Zinke is only one of those.  He may not be the worst, but he is marvelously symbolic of the worst of the Trump administration.  Long Live Zinke!

Daniel Socolow
Daniel Socolow: President, Socolow Group. Former Director of the MacArthur Fellows Program, President of the American University of Paris, Vice President of Spelman College. BA, MA, Ph.D.

Your code to embed this article on your website* :

*You are allowed to change only styles on the code of this iframe.



Add your Comment