It started before the 2016 election, and now Obama’s back leading #TheResistance
Professor Jacobson recently wrote a post about Obama’s recent rhetoric against President Trump.
In giving his speech, Obama was violating the traditional code of behavior for ex-presidents, which was to keep their mouths shut and refrain from criticizing their successors. But no one on earth should be surprised by the fact that Obama just can’t stay away. In fact, there’s evidence that he’s been trying to undermine Trump since Trump first took office, and perhaps even before.
Let’s take a stroll down memory lane. Remember this sort of thing (written February of 2017, a scant couple of weeks after Trump was inaugurated)?:
When former President Barack Obama said he was “heartened” by anti-Trump protests, he was sending a message of approval to his troops. Troops? Yes, Obama has an army of agitators — numbering more than 30,000 — who will fight his Republican successor at every turn of his historic presidency. And Obama will command them from a bunker less than two miles from the White House.
In what’s shaping up to be a highly unusual post-presidency, Obama isn’t just staying behind in Washington. He’s working behind the scenes to set up what will effectively be a shadow government to not only protect his threatened legacy, but to sabotage the incoming administration and its popular “America First” agenda.
He’s doing it through a network of leftist nonprofits led by Organizing for Action. Normally you’d expect an organization set up to support a politician and his agenda to close up shop after that candidate leaves office, but not Obama’s OFA. Rather, it’s gearing up for battle, with a growing war chest and more than 250 offices across the country…
Obama is intimately involved in OFA operations and even tweets from the group’s account. In fact, he gave marching orders to OFA foot soldiers following Trump’s upset victory.
“It is fine for everybody to feel stressed, sad, discouraged,” he said in a conference call from the White House. “But get over it.” He demanded they “move forward to protect what we’ve accomplished.”
“Now is the time for some organizing,” he said. “So don’t mope.”
Well, they’ve done a bit of moping. But mostly they’ve done a lot of organizing in the year and two thirds since then.
And then there was this, written right around the time of Trump’s inauguration [emphasis mine]:
As one of his first acts Monday, Trump signed an executive order freezing most federal hiring. His team is also fine-tuning plans to shrink several agencies focused on domestic policy, according to sources close to the transition.
Now, the president is about to find out how much power these maligned workers have to slow or even short-circuit his agenda.
Disgruntled employees can leak information to Capitol Hill and the press, and prod inspectors general to probe political appointees. They can also use the tools of bureaucracy to slow or sandbag policy proposals — moves that can overtly, or passive aggressively, unravel a White House’s best-laid plans…
…[M]any federal workers admit they are freaked out — demoralized by their portrayal as part of the DC “swamp” and anxious about being asked to dismantle rules and regulations they’ve labored over for years.
“What I am hearing from federal employees is a degree of apprehension that I have not heard since the Reagan transition,” said Jeffrey Neal, who ran human resources for Homeland Security’s 190,000 employees in the last job of his 33-year-long government career.
And shortly after the inauguration there was this big article in the WaPo with the headline “Resistance from within: Federal workers push back against Trump”:
Less than two weeks into Trump’s administration, federal workers are in regular consultation with recently departed Obama-era political appointees about what they can do to push back against the new president’s initiatives. Some federal employees have set up social media accounts to anonymously leak word of changes that Trump appointees are trying to make.
And a few government workers are pushing back more openly…
At a church in Columbia Heights last weekend, dozens of federal workers attended a support group for civil servants seeking a forum to discuss their opposition to the Trump administration. And 180 federal employees have signed up for a workshop next weekend, where experts will offer advice on workers’ rights and how they can express civil disobedience.
At the Justice Department, an employee in the division that administers grants to nonprofits fighting domestic violence and researching sex crimes said the office has been planning to slow its work…
“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.”
When the op-ed article by “Anonymous” appeared recently in the NY Times, I wrote about it here. But I can’t say I was surprised at the piece or at its publication by the Times, because I had read several of those earlier reports at the time they were written, indicating that there was a widespread “resistance” within the federal government itself, and that part of the plan was to leak their stories and dissatisfaction to the press.
The story by Anonymous was just an example of someone who supposedly is placed higher up in the administration, although the Times is careful not to tell us who it is or how high up that person might be (my guess is not as high as they’d like you to think).
[Neo is a writer with degrees in law and family therapy, who blogs at the new neo.]DONATE
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