|Doug Mills, New York Times|
There they were yesterday, the unembarrass-able men (and a very few women) of Trump's cabinet, reciting their pre-written words of adulation and fawning praise for Donald Trump, one by one and very obediently, like craven underlings in Kim Jong-un's palace guard.
Good God! Trump demanded the ritual ass-kissing, and he got his ass royally kissed. According to eye-witness Julie Hirschfeld Davis, "the president went around the table asking for a statement from each cabinet member. One by one, they said their names and — as if working to outdo one another — paid homage to Mr. Trump, describing how honored they were to serve in his administration."
Only Defense Secretary Jim Mattis diverged from the approved script. He praised the troops rather than Trump. Trump was "stern-faced" with Mattis, whereas in response to all the other fawning lickspittles, Trump "sat smiling, nodding his approval." “Thank you, Mick,” he told Mick Mulvaney, his budget director. “Good job,” he told Scott Pruitt, his E.P.A. chief. “Very good, Daniel,” he said to Dan Coats, the director of national intelligence. And so on.
This scene of gross ego-stroking reminds me of Shakespeare's King Lear's demanding to know which of his three daughters loves him most in Act I Scene 1. How did that work out for him during the rest of the play?