Thursday, November 10, 2016

For the sake of change, block 'burrowing' civil servants - By Noel S. Williams

One of the most lopsided exit poll results from the presidential election is that voters who wanted change voted overwhelmingly for Trump.  His clarion call to “Drain the Swamp” reverberated across America’s great hinterlands last night.  In addition to lobbyists, let’s be sure to purge some burrowing civil service political appointees.  

Political appointees converting to career civil servants is a process called burrowing, and helps ensure that our politicized institutions largely remain intact even though a majority of voters would rather change course.  Even Bill Clinton tacitly acknowledged that change was in the air with his twisted assertion that Hillary is the candidate of change.

Obama’s legacy was shredded by this stark referendum on his failed presidency, but he’s a stubborn, petulant man who will try to salvage some semblance of a legacy by surreptitious means.  He has already tried to change the demographic face of America through illegal executive orders on immigration, and he has been able to shape the judiciary in his image with leftist judges.  Another way to preserve his meager contributions to posterity will be to entrench his political appointees in the bureaucracy.

The majority of our civil servants are dedicated professionals; nevertheless, at the top, the civil service is highly politicized, and Americans have little faith in our institutions.  A recent Gallup survey found that the federal government ranked last in positive views.  We shouldn’t be surprised, since corruption is rampant in federal agencies, where uncivil dogmatists masquerade as civil servants. 

As part of his 7-point “Drain the Swamp” platform, Donald Trump has promised to impose a freeze on federal hiring.  They may be dismayed this morning, so let’s enhance their morale by limiting political-to-civil servant conversions so qualified career applicants don’t lose promotions to agenda-driven appointees.  Let’s protect the integrity of the feds by blocking the burrowing swamp rats who ravage our otherwise devoted civil service.

Even if conversion rates fluctuate, burrowing is still poorly managed and subject to political shenanigans.  Office of Personnel Management press secretary Samuel Schumach said his office does not have a way to determine how many Obama political appointees have applied or will apply for civil service employment.  That’s disconcerting!

We need comprehensive civil service reform, but let’s start by restoring confidence in our institutions by implementing a waiting period after a political appointee leaves office before being eligible for a civil service job. 

Drain the swamp, then fumigate it from the stench of burrowing political rats.