One of the funniest things about the Beltway is that, when they talk amongst themselves, they often confirm everything people like us say about Washington and how it works. But they are so completely lacking in self-awareness that they don’t even realize that’s what they’re doing.
The Hill is one of the online publications most widely read by political types, and it’s considered a must-read inside the hallowed halls of power. These are the same halls of power, you’ll recall, where people scoff at the idea that there is a “deep state” working to undermine the Trump presidency. So imagine their surprise when The Hill, without really meaning to, confirmed over the weekend that everything we’ve been saying about the deep state is 100 percent true:
The growing opposition in the executive branch comes as the White House’s legislative agenda has stalled in Congress and Trump turns to his Cabinet agencies to change course in several policy areas. It also is emanating from career staffers or political holdovers whose resistance to Trump has, at times, been rooted in deep opposition to the president’s agenda.
“From our point of view, it’s kind of obvious,” said Jeff Ruch, the executive director of Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER), when asked about staffers’ growing pushback.
“You have Donald Trump, who ran and said he would drain the swamp, meaning them.”
Trump’s allies have often cast the president as the victim of the “deep state,” an entrenched liberal bureaucracy bent on damaging his agenda through leaks and resistance.
They argue the deep state extends from agencies such as the EPA, where employees could be angered with Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris climate deal, to career service intelligence agency staff who leak damaging information about the president.
Former Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) on Friday even accused special counsel Robert Mueller, the former FBI director now investigating Russia’s involvement in last year’s election, as representing the “deep state at its worse.”
Conservatives are unsurprised by the opposition from federal employees.
Chris Horner, a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, pointed to news reports about upset employees, social media campaigns and “civil disobedience” training for staffers looking to push back against the White House.
GOP strategist Matt Mackowiak, a contributor to The Hill, attributed the blowback to a host of factors, from the political make-up of civil servants to the use of holdover officials in government offices that are still waiting for the Senate to confirm Trump political appointees.
He said there is also a “real industry now behind recruiting whistleblowers inside the resistance movement,” and creating public outcry about the administration.
This is exactly what we’ve been saying for months, backed up by voluminous reports that it’s happening – as well as by common sense. Someone is responsible for all those leaks. Someone is using Cold War tactics against their own president. Someone is continuing to enforce regulations the president wants revoked.
Here’s the truth in a nutshell: The electorate chose a president. The federal workforce has made a collective decision to nullify the electorate’s choice by refusing to allow the duly elected president to govern. They will ignore his orders. They will violate his confidence. They will go behind his back and leak secrets after promising to him they will do no such thing.
Supposedly federal employees are nonpolitical. They don’t make policy. They simply implement the policies of those who do. In reality, federal employees are intensely political, and they are overwhelmingly liberal. If you horrible voters dare to elect a Republican president, they will resist his leadership with everything they’ve got. They will take advantage of their civil service protection, and of the Beltway’s culture of protecting leakers as “whistleblowers” to defy the president at every turn.
I suppose if you are a Trump-hater this might sound like great news to you. It might even serve as confirmation of your suspicion that Trump is ill-equipped to govern. Why, no one respects him and they refuse to follow his lead!
But you should consider the other perspective on that story. We have a federal workforce that is a) accountable to no one; and b) completely unconcerned with the decision the voters made on November 9. It’s their agenda, not yours, that matters to them. If they have to destroy a presidency to make their point, they will have no hestitation about doing so.
You can blame the president if you want for being unable to get this under control. But there should be no “this” to get under control in the first place. The real problem is that we have a federal workforce that doesn’t care about election results or official policy. It serves its own master, which is itself.
That’s the deep state. It’s what we’ve been telling you ever since Trump took office. Is there any doubt remaining that this is going on?