President Trump’s incompetence and inability to understand the most basic functions of government has been exposed for all the world to see, once again. The White House admitted defeat this morning when Trump repealed the executive order freezing government hiring after accomplishing nothing but triggering a loud and furious backlash.
On his first day as President, he signed an executive order freezing all non-military government hiring in an attempt to prove to America that he was “draining the swamp” of Washington corruption like he had promised them he would.
Of course, Trump didn’t realize or care that this meant that vital functions of the government would come to a standstill. The backlogs for veterans’ benefits claims at the Veterans Affairs department grew at a dizzying rate; Social Security checks couldn’t be processed on time as kindergartens at military bases were shuttered and federal prisons went unstaffed.
The criticism from veterans’ groups and other angry civil society groups forced Trump to back off the order and seek a “smarter” route.
In response, the government has ordered all federal agencies to submit “restructuring plans” to the Office of Management and Budget by autumn.
“It does not mean the agencies will be free to hire willy-nilly. What we’re doing tomorrow is replacing the across-the-board hiring freeze that was put in place on day one and replacing it with a smarter plan, a more strategic plan, a more surgical plan” explained Budget Director Mick Mulvaney.
“This is a big part of draining the swamp. Really, what you’re talking about doing is restructuring Washington, D.C. That is how you drain the swamp.”
But the reality is that no matter how much Republicans whine and moan about the “bloated” federal government, the nurses at the VA and the teachers at airbase kindergartens are not “the swamp” that Trump railed against so vocally.
The “swamp” is the lobbyists and the special interests that Trump has appointed to his cabinet. Oligarchs run the government while our Republican legislators auction off their votes and their integrity to the highest bidder. Instead of taking any substantial efforts to restore honesty and accountability to Washington, Trump has gone out of his way to make the situation worse.
But as this little episode teaches us, we can always rely on Trump’s own incompetence to foil his dirty schemes.
Colin Taylor is the editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.