Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Federal Workers Resist

From the Washington Post: "Resistance from within: Federal workers push back against Trump" describes a growing willingness of Federal workers to resist the new regime:
"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.... 
"Asked whether federal workers are dissenting in ways that go beyond previous party changes in the White House, Tom Malinow­ski, who was President Barack Obama’s assistant secretary of state for democracy, human rights and labor, said, sarcastically: 'Is it unusual? . . . There’s nothing unusual about the entire national security bureaucracy of the United States feeling like their commander in chief is a threat to U.S. national security. That happens all the time. It’s totally usual. Nothing to worry about.'"
Heroes here? (Image of Smithsonian from Wikipedia).
This rather long article describes various actions throughout many government departments, concluding: 
"'We don’t intend to change the way we do things,' said Smithsonian Secretary David J. Skorton. 'That’s not out of a sense of defiance, it’s not out of a sense of not wanting to be accountable, it’s out of a sense of believing in the mission of the Smithsonian, which is to do research and share information with the public.' 
"Academics have debated for years whether bureaucracies inevitably grow to a point where they, as political scientist Michael Nelson of Rhodes College put it, 'ineluctably overpower' their political masters. 'Time and time again,' he wrote, 'major efforts to make administration more responsive to political control have had the opposite effect. It is enough to chasten even the boldest reformer if, like the sorcerer’s apprentice, his every assault on his tormentors doubles their strength.'"

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