Wednesday, July 20, 2016


Gosh, this doesn't sound extreme at all:
If he wins the presidency, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump would seek to purge the federal government of officials appointed by Democratic President Barack Obama and could ask Congress to pass legislation making it easier to fire public workers, Trump ally, Chris Christie, said on Tuesday....

“As you know from his other career, Donald likes to fire people,” Christie told a closed-door meeting with dozens of donors at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, according to an audio recording obtained by Reuters and two participants in the meeting.
Remember, the administration of Bill Clinton fired seven people -- seven -- in the White House Travel Office in 1993, employees the president was legally entitled to fire. But because the move was seen as an attempt to give jobs to cronies, this became a massive pseudo-scandal that led to investigations by the FBI, the Justice Department, the General Accounting Office, the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee, the Whitewater Independent Counsel's office, and the White House itself. The books were closed on the final investigation only after seven years. Trump apparently wants to do this across all agencies. I guess if you're going to do something like this, do it in a big and brazen way, and boast about it. Or just be a Republican. Nothing will happen to you.

... Trump's transition advisers fear that Obama may convert these appointees to civil servants, who have more job security than officials who have been politically appointed. This would allow officials to keep their jobs in a new, possibly Republican, administration, Christie said....

"One of the things I have suggested to Donald is that we have to immediately ask the Republican Congress to change the civil service laws. Because if they do, it will make it a lot easier to fire those people," Christie said.

He said firing civil servants was "cumbersome" and "time-consuming."
Civil service, schmivil service. We want an all-crony government, dammit!

Oh, and:
Christie added that the Trump team wants to let businesspeople serve in government part time without having to give up their jobs in the private sector.
As Vox's Dylan Matthews notes:
... the problems with this idea are pretty clear. Regulatory capture -- in which regulatory structures are dominated by people sympathetic to or with ties to the industry they’re regulating -- is a major problem in federal agencies, particularly with financial and environmental regulators, and most analysts place some of the blame on the ease with which, say, oil company employees can get jobs regulating the oil sector and then go right back to oil companies after their time in government is over. The Christie/Trump proposal would allow that kind of revolving-door to take place without actual revolving. Regulators could be working for the companies they’re regulating as they’re regulating them.
According to a mass delusion in the mainstream media, Donald Trump is a new kind of Republican, one who isn't trying to custom-tailor laws and regulations on behalf of big business. But here you go -- this is the plan. No continuity, ideological purity, and maximal cronyism.


Tom Hilton said...

Trump's transition advisers fear that Obama may convert these appointees to civil servants, who have more job security than officials who have been politically appointed.

IIRC, that's exactly what Bush did with a lot of his appointees. So, again, projection.

Feud Turgidson said...

TH, the thing about projection is it's so frickin' easy: thing of the things you do that are really dicey, then just accuse your opponent of it. Who would ever figure you to be going public with what's essentially a confession.

It's like a Marx Brothers version of the old Perry Mason bit:

'And I put it to you, witness, that you of all people in the world know the identify of the REAL killer, and that the REAL killer s not my client, Mrs. Biggleswortham at all - but he is right here with us now, in this courtroom'

'Yes - YES - it's TRUE! I confess: I DO know the identity of the real killer; it's ... it's ... it's the JUDGE - no, no, no, I'm mistaken: it's ... it's YOU, Perry Mason!''

Swellsman said...

One of the great advantages of our federal government is, in fact, the bureaucrats who actually make its offices work and who have job security. Unlike the case in many so-called Banana Republics, where it can be routine for new administrations to purge all employees associated with a previous regime, this gives the US gov't both a continuity and - more importantly - a broad institutional knowledge that knows how to get things done and thus prevent chaos from ensuing after every change of administration.

Promising to purge the government of people deemed "disloyal" to Trump personally is just one more way Trump's GOP has found to drive this country into the dirt.

Victor said...

I'm not sure if this tactic stinks more of "You know who" - that I can't name - or Stalin.

They both got rid of institutional knowledge to put in loyal cronies.
And then, they eliminated them, to put in newer, more loyal, cronies.

tRUMP deosn't want to be President.
He wants to be a Dictator.
And leave Pence "The Dense" to run national and international policies, while he sits on his throne, and "makes America great again."

And the GOP mob in Cleveland, doesn't care, because THEY WIN, and we libtards lose.

KenRight said...

Would carry more weight if Clinton had voted and remonstrated against the bankster bailout in rebellion against regulatory capture. But you couldn't tell her apart from Obama on this one.
As it stands then...not much here.

Procopius said...

One of the things I noticed after Inauguration Day was how few Bush appointees Obama replaced, especially in the Justice Department. In fact, to this day I believe an unusually large percentage of appointees in Justice were appointed by Bush.

Ten Bears said...

Kinda' makes you wonder, aeh?