Diagnosis for Democracy
Insights into the State of Our Union
A Blog by Rob Tenery, MD


If Not Trump, It Would Have Been Ted Cruz…or even Jeb Bush

By Rob Tenery, MD on October 9, 2017

If there is a “Deep State”, Washington beltway insiders are at its core. And this very same constituency which prevented Bernie Sanders from winning the Democratic nomination is behind the effort to force Trump out of the Oval Office.

Many who make up this Washington establishment (mostly Federal employees) don't think very highly of the American people, concludes a year-long Johns Hopkins University study of 850 non-elected officials working in the nation's capital. A report published by the same university reveals that the Washington bureaucrats believe Americans are not well-informed on the important issues that affect this country.

In the article, Washington Bureaucrats Tend to Believe Americans Know “Very Little” about Key Issues*, the author refers to the findings in the book, What Washington Gets Wrong: The Unelected Officials Who Actually Run the Government and Their Misconceptions about the American People by political scientists Jennifer Bachner and Benjamin Ginsberg.

The number of Federal employees is about 2.6 million, spread around the country. In the nation’s capital, they make up about 14.1% of the workforce.

According to Bachner and Ginsberg, these Beltway insiders – who work in Federal agencies on Capitol Hill, as well as in other Washington policy jobs – tend to think Americans are uninformed, know "very little" about key issues and have opinions that can be ignored.

Their book also points out the demographic: Those that make up the official bureaucratic Washington community are wealthier, Whiter and better educated than the ordinary citizenry. The authors contend they live in their “own Inside-The-Beltway Bubble, where Washingtonians converse with one another and rarely interact on an intellectual plane with Americans at large.”

A breakdown of these Washington bureaucrats shows they claim to be 60% Democratic versus 35% nationwide. Also, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economics (as reported in 2012), federal worker compensation averaged $81,704; 48% more than the private sector average of $54,995.

This indigenous bureaucracy is the lifeblood in Washington. Although elected officials often come and go with each electoral cycle, these insiders remain to “run the show.” Anything or anyone that threatens their status is seen as the enemy.

The results of this last election are a perfect example. Not only did “More-of-the-Same” Clinton lose, but also she lost to Trump, whose mantra was to “clean the swamp” – the Washington bureaucrats’ swamp. With the stroke of his pen, Trump has already done away with numerous federal regulations that mean less government oversight with the potential loss of thousands of government jobs. Adding to that are his proposals for a simplified tax code and turning over more authority to the states, which have put these bureaucrats in panic mode. Trump wants to run the nation’s capital more like a business – a wake-up call for these bureaucrats who have languished in their cushy jobs for years.

Had Ted Cruz, or even Jeb Bush won, these same bureaucrats would have pushed back too. Because the other Republican candidates were more a part of the establishment and accustomed to the way things are done in Washington, the insiders probably would not have been so strident in their opposition, as they are virtually to everything Trump suggests.

These Government insiders have a whole cadre of support, hoping just to ride out the next 3½ years with leaks and obstructions. Then maybe their “swamp” will be safe again. They are becoming more openly defiant, growing increasingly willing to criticize or defy the White House and President Trump’s top appointees.

An example: A handful of current and former career staffers in the Interior Department and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have openly criticized their superiors, a trend that has developed throughout the Government over the course of Trump’s tenure in the Oval Office.**

Based on the Democrats’ platform of bigger government, it only makes sense for the bureaucrats to side with them by pushing back from any leadership that advocates for downsizing their numbers. Trump carries that even a step further by introducing efficiency and productivity – the dictums he brings from the business community. As a start, his administration has fired more than 500 misbehaving employees in the Veterans Affairs system since he took office.

The overriding question that has yet to be answered is will the Washington bureaucrats win out by subverting Trump’s agenda until the next election cycle. They have latched on to the struggling Democratic Party’s coat-tails by illegally “leaking” secret information to the public. They are cooperating with the bottom-feeding media that spews out “Fake News” to a gullible audience that hears only what they want to hear. Anything to disrupt, distract and delay.

The Washington establishment would like you to believe that Trump’s stay in the Oval Office is in question. Trump’s supporters spoke with their votes in the last election. They not only sent the Democrats a clear message, but the bureaucrats in Washington as well. Maybe, these 63 million voters are not as dumb as the Washington bureaucrats think they are!

*Rosen, Jill, Johns Hopkins University Press, September 28, 2016





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