Remember that everything the trumpers complain about is projection? “Obama has a shadow government?” There is a shadow government, but it isn’t Obama’s.
-Ivanka now has a West Wing office and a security clearance and will have access to “some” classified documents, though she won’t be an employee. She will “voluntarily” follow WH ethics rules. She regularly sits in on meetings with foreign leaders. (Imagine if this were Chelsea Clinton…)
-trump has commissars in place at departments to keep an eye on things and make sure everyone stays loyal. You think Scott Pruitt is bad at EPA? His commissar is Don Benton, a former state senator from Washington who is dumber than a box of rocks. The spokesman commissar at EPA, who is responsible for the gag rules that have gone in place, so Doug Erickson, a current state senator from Washington. (The Washington legelislature is currently in session, but Erickson won’t resign as senator because that would lose the Republicans their senate majority and education might get funded without gutting other parts of the budget.)
-there are over 500 jobs in the administration that require Senate confirmation. We can argue over whether that number is too big, but trump hasn’t nominated anyone for even 10% of those jobs. Most cabinet secretaries don’t have nominees for deputies, but they do have commissars.
-cabinet secretaries seem cut out of the loop regularly. They aren’t consulted on key decisions, they don’t meet with foreign leaders, they find out what’s going on second hand. Tillerson isn’t the real Secretary of State, Kushner is.
-and, of course, there’s Shadow President Bannon.