On Friday, Axios began to publish a deeply researched and important series by Jonathan Swan, explaining that if former president Trump retakes power, he and allies like his former chief of staff Mark Meadows, Representative Jim Jordan (R-OH), and head of Trump’s social media network Devin Nunes are determined to purge our nonpartisan civil service and replace it with loyalists. In a normal administration, a new president gets to replace around 4000 political appointees, but most government employees are in positions designed to be nonpartisan. Trump’s team wants to gut this system and put in place people loyal to him and his agenda.
With the constant corruption, self-dealing, and norm-breaking during the Trump years, news of his targeting civil servants never received adequate attention. I'm glad Heather has shined light on the topic.
It's another chilling warning: America as we know it will end should Trump somehow manage to regain the White House. Same is true of his wannabes.
The stellar work of the J6 committee shows signs of waking the nation, along with a Supreme Court intent on destroying hard-won freedoms. But I'd like to see some polling regarding how many Americans truly understand we're on the precipice and what's at stake.
Not just if Trump were back in office, but any Republican who’d pass the muster of the base would likely resurrect this diabolical Schedule F plan.
Hopefully, the fact that both the Wall Street Journal and the New York Post carried editorials last Friday pointing out Trump's lack of fitness for office means the Murdoch has turned against him. If that attitude shows up on the nightly propaganda rants on Faux, Trump's goose is cooked.
Well, that scared me all over again. I am practicing "staying in the moment," for my sanity however, and I want to praise our civil service as represented by Marie Yovanovich, Vindeman, and all the duty-bound DOJ investigators, on and on. We really don't know all they do, but they are exceptional Americans, often children of immigrants who have gratitude for our laws and safe-keeping of citizens. As this newsletter reminds us, they are bright, hard workers and loyal to an ideal rather than an individual. May they prevail. May they and everyone they know vote for freedom, Never DJT!
Could Congress revise the Pendleton Act in order to remove that loophole that allows for a Schedule F? It seems to me that they could either revise it or revoke it and pass a new one. If so, they'd better get busy if they want it done before the midterms.
Why an objective “Bureaucracy” created by Congress is Essential
. . . For 13 of my 15 years of service to the Federal Government (2 of those years serving in the Navy), most of my time was spent in the Financial Assistance branch of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Golden Field Office (for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy). I worked as a Grants Specialist and Contracting Officer, responsible for preparing grant awards to recipients conducting renewable energy research and development. Awardees include companies in the private sector, universities, small businesses, U.S. National Labs like NREL and SANDIA, and non-profit energy research companies. People working at DOE/Golden follow meticulous procedures, rules, and regulations under “10 CFR 600”, a part of the Federal Code which lays out how the Department of Energy (objectively) selects awardees, and how terms and conditions are to be executed during the research grant period (usually in a three-to-five-year timeframe).
. . . The 10 CFR 600 guidelines only affect Department of Energy’s work on “renewables”. This effort runs into the billions of dollars. The office also fields a legal team, scientists, and other people with engineering or technical backgrounds who work with awardees during the project period. But there is so much more in a Federal system, ESTABLISHED BY CONGRESS and monitored by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), which conducts financial audits of grant awardee expenditures.
. . . This is just one of many Federal agencies, all with their own set of rules and regulations that are followed. . . When you hear someone in Congress making political hay by trashing “the bureaucracy”, remember:
Congress created it and is constantly revising it. Revisions are contained in the “FEDERAL REGISTER”, published daily, and available to anyone on-line. As they say, watching Congress create laws and guidelines for Federal agencies is like watching sausage being made. . . But you have to ask yourself if the “alternative” to having this system would do nothing but create chaos and widespread failure.
If Trump succeeds in getting re-elected in 2024, we could see the end to an objective Federal system of laws and procedures affecting all facets of government, from the Federal level down to local governments. I do not believe critics of “the bureaucracy” have any idea what they’d be unleashing on all of us if Trump and his disciples succeed.
Another great and insightful piece. I have a minor quibble though. I see any Republican in the White House doing this, not just Trump. They'll just say there's precedent, that Biden undid the precedent for political reasons and Schedule F is for Fascist will be back in place.
I would love to be wrong. Please show me how I'm wrong. I'm really terrified of any GOP in the White House.
I'm 71 and wonder if our democracy will stand at least until I am gone. Must we have Civil War 2.0? If DJT is found criminally liable what kind of sentence would he get? Would he be stripped of pension and SS protection? Where would he be imprisoned? We are in uncharted waters, thanks to him and his ilk.
Loyalty to the dicktator is and has always been Trump’s plan. Governing is something he does not know how to do, however, and he definitely proved that. I am not the least surprised you mentioned Devin Nunes, HRC. He has been in charge of Trump’s failed fake entertainment center. He screwed the people, a lot of farmers, in the Central Valley in California. That area has always voted with the R’s. Perhaps things will change now. Nunes is not without controversy either because he was alongside McCarthy. I call them the two Qevins. Gutting a system that has been in place for so many years, would be devastating for all. We can prevent this from happening. We can loudly denounce any Repub candidate for the House or Senate. We were asleep at the wheel in 2020 when we lost House seats. We cannot permit that to happen again. Would love to see two or more Senate seats go to the Dems so that we can make Manchenema non-entities.
This is the scariest thing yet. What’s to stop any Republican not named Trump who might win in 2024 (I hope not) from carrying out this plan?
Why is it that even the PBS News Hour does not seem to have the details that you share with us? Would you be interested in being a regular guest via zoom in The News Hour? Your knowledgeable and chilling details need a wider audience if our democracy is to be salvaged.
Thank you for all you do.
Thank you for explaining the Civil Service to this reader. I had two great step aunts, Virginia maiden ladies both, daughters of a Methodist minister, one worked her entire adult life in the Library of Congress, the other in the National Archives. More integrity in two people is unimaginable. And now I know how they “happened”, because neither would have been part of pay to play.
Q: What's the only thing worse than the Trump presidency?
A: A second Trump presidency.
The thought of trump and his minions taking our country down is scary, sad, and more reason to resist.
I love you, Professor Heather. Thank you for these.
A vindictive Trump back in the White House with unbridled power to hire and fire based on personal loyalty to him is a terrifying thought. I am convinced that it won’t happen.
The tarnishing of the Trump image has been quickened with the House 1/6 Committee’s public hearings. Some of his remaining ‘loyal Trumpists’ are seeking other political pastures. His carrion call about the BIG Lie and the 1/6 ‘witch hunt’ is being dampened by a number of Republican candidates in the 2022 congressional and gubernatorial elections who are leery of Trumpian ‘coattails.’
Trump’s narcissism compels him to yearn to be the big enchilada in ‘Trump/Republican’ politics. This seems to be working less and less well. Moreover, he is ensnared in a number of legal situations that are likely to involve him in both civil and criminal indictments.
Trump has toyed with hints of being a presidential candidate in years past. He is doing the same today, in part in an effort to stymie other prospective 2024 candidates, including DeSantis.
I am convinced that Trump willl not be a serious presidential candidate in 2024. [I was dead wrong in 2015 and hope to bat .500 on my Trump predictions.] However, I am deeply concerned, were a DeSantis-type to win the 2024 presidential race, that there would be an assault against the professional civil servants who are essential in our government’s engine room during tipsy-turvy presidencies.
As a Foreign Service Officer I served under four presidents, two Republicans and two Democrats. Personally it mattered not a whit, since I had taken an oath to serve the United States.