Sunday, December 11, 2016

Donald Trump's Impending Presidency Brings 'Funeral' Mood To U.S. Government Workers

WASHINGTON — A funereal atmosphere has taken hold in government offices in the U.S. capital, where numerous federal employees describe mournful, even tearful, scenes among dejected co-workers commiserating about Donald Trump's impending presidency.

Employees — speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals — shared anecdotes about the sorrowful reaction in multiple departments to Trump's win last month, and their own feelings about what comes next.

One employee said she'd cried on her way to work that morning — and wasn't the only one weeping in her office.

"I have seen so many tears. From the top down,'' said the woman, who works on international initiatives and fears the incoming president's derisive cracks about foreign nation-building mean the U.S. might scale down its foreign engagement.

"I've seen supervisors addressing staff — crying.... It's their life's work. It's really demoralizing.''

Antipathy to the incoming president in the left-leaning national capital is no secret. Trump got just four per cent of the vote in Washington, D.C. Yet that's worse than usual for a Republican — in fact, it's the worst result for any since the district got voting rights in 1964.

There are now internal debates about how to proceed.

The employees who will have to execute the president's orders are having office discussions about staying or leaving government; how to respond to an unethical demand; and whether it's moral or even technically possible to thwart what they consider bad ideas.

Opinions differ.

A man who works in foreign affairs says federal employees are sworn to uphold the Constitution. He said everyone around him is unhappy. But if the democratically elected government asks employees to carry out constitutional orders they have two choices: "You execute. Or you leave.''

However, some suggest there's actually a middle-of-the-road, third option historically favoured by skeptical bureaucrats: Execute, but very slowly.

Someone who works on climate policy says he's heard people wonder whether Trump's agenda might be stymied for a year. Then governing activity slows down in a midterm election year. Finally, the president starts worrying about his own re-election.

"People are already talking about that,'' he said.

He likened the post-election mood in his office to that of a "funeral home.'' In three words, he summarized the skepticism of government energy experts regarding Trump's promises to out-of-work coal miners in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia — that he'd restore their jobs, in the face of global trends toward cheaper, cleaner natural gas and green technologies.

"It's a crock,'' he said.

Apparently expecting such institutional resistance, the incoming administration has reportedly demanded the names of employees in the Department of Energy who helped design the Obama administration's climate policies.

The new administration has numerous levers to enforce its will.

That's always true in the U.S. executive branch, more so than in most countries following a change in government. When a new government takes office in Canada, for instance, the staff might change in ministers' offices, and perhaps also at the highest ranks of the public service.

But in the U.S. there are thousands of personnel changes.

The new president gets to pick his people far beyond cabinet members' offices, and into the top three or four ranks of the civil service in every department — meaning career bureaucrats will report to Trump political appointees, who report to other political appointees, and then others still, and they report to the cabinet.

One employee described the senior-most bureaucrats in her department, almost like a protective wall: "That's your buffer.''

Lots of career plans are now being second-guessed.

One man said he wasted no time applying for a job outside government. He did it on election night, before going to bed. One woman said she's now a little worried about representing the U.S. abroad, concerned about anti-American hostility.

If the president issues unconstitutional orders, she's heard colleagues determined to thwart them. Like the Muslim ban Trump floated during the campaign, for instance. She said colleagues talk about volunteering to implement the policy — and doing their job very, very slowly.

With growing resistance towards Trump & Cronies chances are that this government will not be very successful. It is also clear that many Trump voters are already feeling the cold wind towards them. Cuts to social security, medicaid and medicare are underway. Workers are feeling they have been conned. The Trump cabinet is resembling a horror film of the worst making. Old guys (like Trump himself) no women and CEO’s from Big Business are now gonna rule the affairs of the little man on the street. Good luck Americans. I pity you and your country.


  1. Peter: Let us hope there is no major catastrophe in Canada. If there is, Trump and US citizens will respond with compassion, resources and kindness. We will turn our cheek to the negativity and dispel of the opinions/rumors that seeks to fuel divisiveness. We will prevail under a Trump leadership. We are buckled up and ready for the ride! Of course, we are from West of the Mississippi and see America through a different lens. Merry Christmas, Peter! You are safe.

    1. California is also west of the Mississippi. They see America through the right lens.

    2. We love CA but could never afford to live there because of their taxes.

  2. DeeBev I am not worried about any major catastrophy in Canada. I am worried about the future of the USA. This is not about negativity and divisiveness, it is about realism and what's actually going on right now. Never before in history has there been a Pres.-elect who has embarrassed the US like DJT has. Never before has there been so much ugliness towards a Pres.-elect. Never before has there been so much hate towards an oncoming government. You had droves of candidates to choose from, but you chose the con-man, the one who is going to drag the USA into the sewer. I am so sad and so disgusted about it, because I used to have a high opinion of the U.S.A. Once, a few years ago, we were about to buy a business in the U.S. - but the deal fell through and I am endlessly grateful for it today.
    Merry Christmas to you as well. Go to church and pray.


    1. Linda it is my business and everybody else's business to make sure there is no dictator in the western world, especially not in the USA.

    2. It is everyones business. If you don't understand that there is no hope for you Linda Lee. The USA has a huge impact on the whole world and if you hadn't noticed Canada is right on top of the US. When you have a Man with serious mental issues running a very important country there is going to be some serious problems. I know "The Holocaust " didn't happen. You must be one of those people to make a statement like that.
      God I don't think I have ever read a more stupid comment ever!.

  4. Unfortunately, things always have to get better before they get worse. I don't know who these Government employees that the CP speaks if are, but I hope they go out looking for jobs. Maybe they will find out just how over compensated they are when they get jobs in the real world. I'm thinking all these whiners will just shut up and get in line.
    This so called slow-down of work will only hurt the very people they serve, the ones paying taxes so they can have a government job that , pays too much, gives more generous benefits than just about 60% of the working people in the US.
    I've said this before, Bernie was and still is my guy. I feR there is no one with his abilities to replace him.
    The way I see this Tru p presidency going, we will loose the ACA, and it will be replaced with something worse than we had before the law was put in place. Eventually, people will wake up to a call for Medicare for all. A payroll tax with no ceiling of lets say 10% would cover it all. And for the majority of Americans, that amount would be much less than purchasing your own insurance.
    The reality is though, we need national Healthcare, not National Health insurance. Only the truly stupid actually believe Mr. Trump is actually going to do what he said on the campaign trail.
    The big worry is what the Republican controlled houses are going to do with him in charge.
    The liberal (and by liberal, I mean far left) press is instigating the DEPRESSED MOOD that we are seeing.....It's just so irritating to watch almost every news network's talking heads propagating all the questions of Mr. Trump's intentions. Every tweet is reported like a natural disaster, and Trump is just laughing at them. Pretty soon the online and on air news will loose what little credibility they still have.
    Things will have to get worse before they get better, and unfortunately the media and entertainment industry is playing in to Me. Trump's hands.

    1. Keep drinking the Kool-Aid....Breitbart,Fake,The Apprentice and Fox news are so much more informed than PBS,BBC,NYT,Washington Post,LA Times and all the rest of our news gathering media. I've got a warm feeling....he's got my back! (Sarcasm)

    2. A MESSAGE TO "MIDDLE CLASS AMERICAN": Unless they are outright commercial spam, I am not in the habit of deleting comments on this blog, A healthy discussion is a good thing. However your comments are showing that you are not capable of participating in a healthy discussion, so your last comments have been deleted. Don't bother to continue to send them, until you have improved your style. We do not need to read your Breitbart views. From what you have been writing I think YOU have an anger problem.

  5. Peter, keep writing your view on this, after all, when we know better, we do better, particularly as far as politics are concerned. We can only hope that some of these people can learn better before it's too late.

  6. Linda I do understand your feelings about family being jewish and all. What I don't understand is that you approve of this government when you know that antisemitic people have been chosen into this upcoming administration. And for me the bottom line is that God is certainly not in control of elections. You of all people should not say that. Or do you really think that God was in control when the German People chose Hitler? Yes, he was elected by a landslide Linda. Did God want to exterminate 6mill Jews? I think not.

  7. I guess what I meant was what would have happened if The world minded their own business when the Holocaust was happening. Then what????? God has absolutely nothing to do with the election for heaven sakes. More like the Russians had something to do with the way this turned out. I am not going to argue with someone who obviously has not studied Donald Trump and is just reading the Headlines and not the actual stories. I have done my homework.


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