Listen To You Tell Me Texas Friday 3/24/17
Ten days after the November election I went on the air to say that the biggest obstacle that Donald Trump would face as he took office would be the permanent federal bureaucracy. Bigger than the Democrats in Congress. Bigger than the liberal Northeast media.
Unelected, unaccountable and largely unfazed by who lives in the White House or who controls the Senate and House floors, faceless, nameless bureaucrats have an enormous impact on the daily lives of ordinary Americans. Congress passes a few dozen laws every year. The bureaucrats at federal agencies publish thousands of rules, most of which have the force of law.
Those bureaucrats voted overwhelmingly for Hillary Clinton – one estimate has it at 97 percent. Government is what they do and Trump wants to shrink the government.
That’s why Donald Trump is the scariest thing they’ve ever seen.
The so-called “intelligence community” is no less a bureaucracy than the rest of the government. The directors of the various intelligence agencies are political appointees with finite terms. But the staffs at these agencies are career government employees who support those who support government.
As Donald Trump is now learning.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Cal.) said Wenesday that as a result of an investigation that he leads, he has good reason to believe that President-elect Trump’s communications were, in fact, surveilled. Said Nunes,
…clearly, there is a lot of information in the reports that I have seen, which were dozens, that would lead me to believe that the last administration and numerous agencies had a pretty good idea of what President-elect Trump was up to and what his transition team was up to and who they were meeting with.”
Does that statement validate the president’s much-ridiculed Tweet of March 4 in which he said that Obama had his “wires tapped?” Yes, somewhat, but not entirely.
Barack Obama is not stupid. At no time would he have directly ordered a “tap” on Trump’s “wires.” Doing so would leave a paper trail.
Obama has a technical out. He likely issued no such order but only because he didn’t have to. From his perspective, an intelligence bureaucracy that is monitoring literally everything could be counted on to take any opportunity to monitor the opposition party without being asked.
Anything that emerged of political value (read: anything that could be damaging to the incoming administration) could then be counted on to somehow come to light. Obama himself made this much more likely by, in the last days of his presidency, removing long-standing restrictions on the sharing of intelligence information between agencies. The likelihood of a leak went up by several orders of magnitude.
In the 60 odd days of the Trump presidency one thing has become unmistakably clear. Federal employees in massive numbers – employees whose names you will never know – are dedicated to derailing Trump’s presidency by any means possible in ways not seen in the history of our republic.
Mr. President, you promised to drain the swamp. Behold the swamp.