According to a report in the Washington Post, 180 federal employees have signed up for a workshop on civil disobedience in the Trump era. The workshop next weekend will feature “expert advice” on workers’ rights and how they can express civil disobedience.
This comes after “dozens of federal workers” attended a support group for civil servants at a church in Columbia Heights last weekend. The support group reportedly serves “as a forum to discuss their opposition to the Trump administration.”
“You’re going to see the bureaucrats using time to their advantage,” said the employee, who spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of retaliation. Through leaks to news organizations and internal complaints, he said, “people here will resist and push back against orders they find unconscionable.”
The resistance is so early, so widespread and so deeply felt that it has officials worrying about paralysis and overt refusals by workers to do their jobs.
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer sent a message to dissenters at the State Department earlier this week, saying they “should either get with the program, or they can go.”
During his press briefing Wednesday, he clarified to say that while federal employees do have the right to speak out against policies with which they disagree, they don’t have the right to block them. In other words, employees who engage in “civil disobedience” by refusing to carry out the president’s orders will be putting their jobs in jeopardy.
Former House speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) said the pushback is a symptom of a bureaucracy infested with left-wingers.
He cited an analysis by the Hill newspaper that showed that 95 percent of campaign donations from employees at 14 federal agencies went to Hillary Clinton last fall.
“This is essentially the opposition in waiting,” Gingrich said. “He may have to clean out the Justice Department because there are so many left-wingers there. State is even worse.”
Gingrich said Trump might push for civil service revisions to make it easier to fire federal workers. He predicted that the public would back the president over federal employees.
Trump was, after all, elected to “drain the swamp.”