The Department of Energy said Tuesday it will reject the request by President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team to name staffers who worked on climate change programs.
Energy spokesman Eben Burnhan-Snyder said the agency received ‘significant feedback’ from workers regarding a questionnaire from the transition team that leaked last week.
‘Some of the questions asked left many in our workforce unsettled,’ Snyder said.
The survey for department leadership included more than 70 questions regarding what the agency does, its workforce, costs, professional affiliations and more.
But it also asked for a list of employees who worked on various climate change priorities in President Obama’s administration, including the Paris climate agreement and the social cost of carbon, an accounting measure for the costs of climate change.
Uh-oh. Be vewy quiet; we’re hunting cwimate change! One can only imagine the panic that gripped the “workforce” when the incoming administration dared ask them questions about the organization and work focus of the Energy Department. Of course, it’s entirely legitimate for the Trump staff to ask such questions, and it’s entirely legitimate for the Obama Administration to refuse to answer. It’s also entirely stupid. Do they imagine they can refuse to answer when Mr. Trump becomes their boss in January? Oh, and perhaps, in the spirit of the transparency and smooth transition Mr. Obama has promised, he could order the “workforce” to answer the questions? Right. Pigs flying, snowballs in hell and all that… So why does the “workforce” think it can tell the President-Elect to go to hell?
We are going to respect the professional and scientific integrity and independence of our employees at our labs and across our department,’ Burnham-Snyder said in the Tuesday statement, first reported by The Washington Post.
‘We will be forthcoming with all publicly-available information with the transition team. We will not be providing any individual names to the transition team.
Oh, of course! This is about “professional and scientific integrity and independence of our employees at our labs and across our department.” I guess I just wasn’t aware federal employees had an absolute right to tell their boss where to stick it. It’s all about integrity, after all. What’s wrong with that Trump? Does he actually think federal employees work for the American people? Hah!
My members are upset and have questions about what this means. These are all civil servants who do their jobs,’ Tony Reardon, national president of the National Treasury Employees Union, said in a statement.
‘They have no wish to be caught up in political winds — they are nonpartisan employees — scientists, engineers, statisticians, economists and financial experts — who were hired for their knowledge and they bring their talent and experience to the job every day,’ he said, adding that the union ‘will do all it can to ensure that merit system rules are followed.
Translation: We’ll do what we’ve always done; tell the American people and any boss that dares to think they’re in charge to go to hell. We can do whatever we want, as long as it’s in furtherance of progressive policies, and nobody can tell us otherwise. That’s rather a novel idea: federal employees are independent of any oversight or authority and can do whatever they please, as long as its in furtherance of progressive policies, of course. The Hill adds this charming conclusion:
Laws and regulations regarding civil service workers make it illegal to fire or punish workers for political purposes, even when an administration changes.
This is as it should be, however, The Hill, and the “workforce” are surely intending this to mean the Trump Administration has no power to tell them what to do or to force them to cooperate with them, before or after the Inauguration. That’s where they are going badly, potentially disastrously, wrong. Or maybe not.
The proper response to this should be a tweet from Mr. Trump, perhaps something like this, delivered with a smile:
To the Department of Energy: OK. We’ll talk after the Inauguration.
Mr. Trump should then summon all the managers of that office, particularly those that refused him, to the Oval Office and explain precisely what they are going to do and what information they will provide by a specific date, and when they don’t, “you’re fired” covers it nicely.
This would not be politics. The President has every right and responsibility to know exactly how the agencies he commands are doing business, and who is doing what. This is not politics; it’s management 101. Politics is firing people that didn’t vote for you, or firing people of the opposite party. It is not setting new and different priorities, or saying, for example, “there will be no further time and money spent on global warming and anything like it.” Elections have consequences–I recall Barack Obama saying that–and one of them is new bosses and new directions. Civil service rules do not ensure that only progressive policies may be pursued by federal employees, or that federal employees may ignore their bosses, particularly those elected by the people.
Among Mr. Trump’s first 100 day accomplishments should be wholesale revision of civil service rules to not only protect the due process rights of federal employees, but to make it possible, without moving Heaven and Earth, to fire the insubordinate or incompetent. There should be no such thing as a right to a federal job, particularly when employees conspire against the American people, as has long been the case at the IRS, EPA and other agencies.
The problem with this, the problem with everything after the Inauguration, is Republicans may be very reluctant to change the status quo that has served them so well. They will be expected to perform, to complete the legislation they have pretended to want for so long, to actually behave as conservatives. Too many Congressional republicans have been the lap dogs of democrats for so long, they are likely irredeemable. They are certainly deplorable.
But even if they don’t make necessary civil service changes, Mr. Trump can simply fire those that refuse to adapt to a government that actually obeys the law. But they’ll sue! Let them. He can simply assign all of the communists in the Department of Justice to defend the government against those suits, and replace them with attorneys dedicated to the Constitution and the rule of law. America will be better off with both those classes of parasites gone and/or occupied trying to get rid of those classes of parasites. It will be poetic justice indeed.
And if I may suggest, President-Elect Trump? The Department of Energy may be a good place to start.
Pre-Posting Update: The Washington Post is now reporting that the Trump Transition Team is sort of, kind of, backing away from the request for information…maybe. If so, that’s not encouraging for those that take Mr. Trump seriously when he speaks of draining the swamp.