News & Politics

OWN GOAL: Politico, House Democrats Unintentionally Launch the Dismantling of the 'Deep State'

President Donald Trump smiles during the National Prayer Breakfast, Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Just about every American not employed as union “muscle” was enraged by New York City’s “rubber room” scandal. The city’s most incompetent public school teachers were being paid to not work — they would clock in and literally sit in a room each day for years(!) on full salary and benefits. The “deal” the city had struck with the United Federation of Teachers made them virtually impossible to fire.

But American consumers of mainstream media might not have known until today’s double-shot of “Resist” from Politico and Democratic members of the House Oversight Committee, that this occurs on a much larger scale in Washington.

They might not have known that federal civil service employment protections rubber-room a majority of the Executive Branch — no matter whom the people have elected to run it.

Yes, the Executive Branch does get stocked with political appointees every four or eight years. However, it’s still mostly staffed with career employees who stick around through as many administrations as their hollowed souls can bear. And no, they aren’t all there to refill the copier tray. A lot of them are paid to be political. You can’t vote them out — and the president can’t even fire them.

Perhaps I’m out on a limb here, but I don’t think we need Fusion GPS to determine that even many Democrat voters don’t like paying for federal employees who aren’t being utilized. I bet Sid Blumenthal doesn’t have “UPHOLD CIVIL SERVICE PROTECTIONS” on his whiteboard for 2020 Wisconsin strategy.

Also, I’m pretty confident that Democrats would have posted Philadelphia-style 100% to 0%  results in 2008 with: “Should Barack Obama, if elected, be able to hire the staff he wants?”

However, since 2016 the average Democrat has been consuming media that associated Trump and other Republican references to a “Deep State” with the term “paranoid.”

The average Democrat might not have known that perhaps 90 percent of the Department of Justice attorneys serving Jeff Sessions have resumes that scream “lefty.” Or that total mass in the Tillerson/Pompeo State Department building is 75 percent Council on Foreign Relations swag.

They do now, though.

In an own goal, butt-fumble for the ages, Politico just published a headline so “not the Onion” that, Stephen Hawking-like, it may not be the Onion:

Emails reveal conservative alarm over ‘Obama holdovers’ in Trump administration

In coordination with Politico, House Democrats Elijah Cummings and Eliot Engel delivered an open letter to the White House and State Department which begins:

Note that finish: ” … despite the career employees expressing willingness to support the policy priorities of the Trump Administration.” The whistleblower is not named, but the remainder of the open letter focuses on one Sahar Nowrouzzadeh:

The “conservative news outlet” referred to is Conservative Review; Jordan Schachtel had published an article titled: “Iran Deal Architect Is Running Tehran Policy at the State Dept.” Indeed, as Schachtel had written, Nowrouzzadeh had been “the Iran director for former President Obama’s National Security Council.”

And Nowrouzzadeh was holding an influential position in the administration of a man who called Obama’s Iran Deal the “dumbest” he’s ever seen. Trump had added: “The deal with Iran was at the highest level of incompetence.”

But were Elijah Cummings and Eliot Engel right to be “extremely disturbed”? Was Nowrouzzadeh reportedly expressing “willingness to support the policy priorities of the Trump Administration” in good faith?



The Democratic Party and Politico just went to bat for a rubber-roomed “whistleblower.”

They really did just try to make hay with: “Trump Demotes — But Can’t Fire — Employee Who Calls Him ‘Dangerous.'”

If the Republican Party has a smidge of the media instincts of Schachtel and Ceren, then this coming Monday should open with a House Oversight Committee hearing on civil service employment law reform.

They don’t, of course.

But Trump does. And winning over America with civil service reform is a six-inch putt for him.

Politico, Cummings, and Engel just demystified the Deep State for American voters. It’s not about paranoiac white men bumbling about like Inspector Clouseau. It’s about an irrational set of laws that allow thousands upon thousands of unelected Executive Branch employees to work against the elected boss.

Some of them are even the precise cause of the constant “chaos” that the mainstream media loves to ascribe to this White House. Some of them routinely commit felonies by leaking confidential information to those media outlets.

And, unbelievably, one was a JCPOA architect so blinded by a lifetime in government that she actually thought America embraces her “right” to be an un-fireable bureaucrat.

Follow David Steinberg’s tweets at @DavidSPJM