Will We Ever Be Able to Drain the Swamp?

 

In reading over the comments on my latest post, I was overwhelmed by the endless ways that the Left has been able to target, mislead, hamstring, and nearly destroy the Conservatives. There seems to be no end to the many ways they commit subterfuge and often even practice their despicable acts in plain sight. We can call them out when we happen to catch them in the act, but there are rarely, if ever, consequences.

When we review Trump’s efforts—a man who we hoped would be able to drain the swamp—the Left was prepared to take steps to stop him at every action. With the media’s collusion with the Left, and people like Adam Schiff on one side and Liz Cheney on the other, are we more likely to drown in the swamp than drain it?

I read a comment that Trump should be elected in 2024 to finish the work he began against the swamp in his first term. He initiated many productive and innovative policies, and I’m not very interested in debating that point. But when it comes to draining the swamp, how successful was he? How would we even define “draining the swamp”? Were part of the difficulties he encountered due to his lack of understanding about how pervasive and deep the swamp actually was? Do you think he’s learned from the first time around, and that he would tackle the swamp in a different way?

I’ve said on other posts that I would rather he didn’t run in 2024. If I was confident that he would have more impact on the establishment, I might feel different. The fact is, I don’t know if the swamp can be eliminated, and if so, who could do a better job than Trump did the first time around? And should draining the swamp be a priority in 2024?

Please understand that my goal here is not to attack Trump. Instead, it’s asking how realistic we are to think that inroads can be made on what seems to be an impenetrable and entrenched state.

What do you think?

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  1. DrewInWisconsin, Oik Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oik
    @DrewInWisconsin

    His most important effort toward Swamp Draining was an executive order in Oct 2020 that Biden immediately rescinded. It would have been an important step in gutting the Deep State.

    Rumor has it that if he becomes President again in 2025, he’ll make it a priority. One of the reasons the Deep State wants to stop him.

    New presidents typically get to replace more than 4,000 so-called “political” appointees to oversee the running of their administrations. But below this rotating layer of political appointees sits a mass of government workers who enjoy strong employment protections — and typically continue their service from one administration to the next, regardless of the president’s party affiliation.

    An initial estimate by the Trump official who came up with Schedule F found it could apply to as many as 50,000 federal workers — a fraction of a workforce of more than 2 million, but a segment with a profound role in shaping American life.

    Trump, in theory, could fire tens of thousands of career government officials with no recourse for appeals. He could replace them with people he believes are more loyal to him and to his “America First” agenda.

    Even if Trump did not deploy Schedule F to this extent, the very fact that such power exists could create a significant chilling effect on government employees.

    It would effectively upend the modern civil service, triggering a shock wave across the bureaucracy. The next president might then move to gut those pro-Trump ranks — and face the question of whether to replace them with her or his own loyalists, or revert to a traditional bureaucracy.

    The Democrats are horrified at the idea that a Republican President should have employees who support his agenda.

    • #1
  2. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    DrewInWisconsin, Oik (View Comment):
    Rumor has it that if he becomes President again in 2025, he’ll make it a priority. One of the reasons the Deep State wants to stop him.

    That’s impressive.

    DrewInWisconsin, Oik (View Comment):

    Even if Trump did not deploy Schedule F to this extent, the very fact that such power exists could create a significant chilling effect on government employees.

    It would effectively upend the modern civil service, triggering a shock wave across the bureaucracy. The next president might then move to gut those pro-Trump ranks — and face the question of whether to replace them with her or his own loyalists, or revert to a traditional bureaucracy.

    But then, rumors aren’t fact. Still, there’s hope!

    • #2
  3. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    It’s understandable to want people in place who are loyal to you. But to have to screen just about everyone to make sure they don’t sabotage you is tragic. Then again, the Left has brought this on themselves.

    • #3
  4. Red Herring Coolidge
    Red Herring
    @EHerring

    Reading this now. It is a great peak inside the Trump administration from a mild-mannered guy with no bones to pick and no desire to slight anyone. In my opinion, Much of what you hear about Trump is either false, vindictive, or coming from someone who arrogantly thought he knew better. I am reading it now so I can discuss it with him on the cruise. Before he joined Trump, he wrote the economic stuff in the “box” for NR. He now has a role in the National Review Institute, one of my favorite people. He was smart enough to figure out why Trump did as he did and smart enough to survive and prosper inside the administration when others couldn’t.

    • #4
  5. iWe Coolidge
    iWe
    @iWe

    The President can de-unionize all federal employees with the stroke of a pen (they were unionized this way). That makes them ALL fireable.

    Then you move all departments far from DC. Spread them out across the country.

    Pass a new law that says that selective enforcement of law or regulation is grounds for dismissal: if the EPA or IRS are working over a conservative company, if they show that a comparable liberal entity got a free ride, then the actions are dismissed. Regulations should not be arbitrarily enforced. Fixing this will help a lot.

    • #5
  6. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Red Herring (View Comment):

    Reading this now. It is a great peak inside the Trump administration from a mild-mannered guy with no bones to pick and no desire to slight anyone. In my opinion, Much of what you hear about Trump is either false, vindictive, or coming from someone who arrogantly thought he knew better. I am reading it now so I can discuss it with him on the cruise. Before he joined Trump, he wrote the economic stuff in the “box” for NR. He now has a role in the National Review Institute, one of my favorite people. He was smart enough to figure out why Trump did as he did and smart enough to survive and prosper inside the administration when others couldn’t.

    Think about writing a review or summary for us!

    • #6
  7. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    iWe (View Comment):
    The President can de-unionize all federal employees with the stroke of a pen (they were unionized this way). That makes them ALL fireable.

    I love all of these, but especially the act against the unions. Heads will spin!

    • #7
  8. Red Herring Coolidge
    Red Herring
    @EHerring

    Great interview when Hassett’s book came out.


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K4kk7eJv8XE

    • #8
  9. David C. Broussard Coolidge
    David C. Broussard
    @Dbroussa

    The big problem with “draining the swamp” is that there are too many people on the right who don’t want the swamp drained. It might be that they believe in the institution that they were a part of (Andy McCarthy and the FBI/DoJ), or it might be that they really believe in a big administrative state, but it doesn’t matter, they won’t work to reduce the govt. At some point, the legislature has to take charge again and stop allowing the Admin state to run things. Until that happens, it won’t go away. 

    • #9
  10. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Susan Quinn: Adam Schiff on one side and Liz Cheney on the other

    True in theory, but not in fact . . .

    • #10
  11. Bob Thompson Member
    Bob Thompson
    @BobThompson

    I was thinking about how Trump and Republicans might campaign for 2024 after the 2022 election when this post came up. The next campaign can be part of this discussion.

    Small government conservatives, those who recognize the thinking underlying the federalism that characterized America’s founding principles on which the Constitution is based, have now seen why and exactly how big government sucks. It represents itself not the people.

    The 2024 campaign is the endgame for a peaceful political process to begin the recovery of the republic as created.

    • #11
  12. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):
    The 2024 campaign is the endgame for a peaceful political process to begin the recovery of the republic as created.

    Oh, how I wish . . .  I worry that it will be like pushing a boulder up a mountain . . . 

    • #12
  13. Bob Thompson Member
    Bob Thompson
    @BobThompson

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):
    The 2024 campaign is the endgame for a peaceful political process to begin the recovery of the republic as created.

    Oh, how I wish . . . I worry that it will be like pushing a boulder up a mountain . . .

    Well, it will be that with no guarantees of success.

    • #13
  14. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    They only way is to scale back what the Federal Government can do. Restricting the Commerce Clause would be a dream. 

    A President could do this, but none will, because they all like power. I have proposed this before here, but for those who have not seen it:

    President is sworn in. He pulls out a document and signs it, handing it to his incoming Chief of staff. Then he addresses America

    My Fellow Americans, I would like to open with a quick discussion on the Constitution. When the Founders laid out this great document, they believed in a separation of powers and checks and balances. Each of the three branches listed in Articles I, II, and III have their powers enumerated. In the 20th and 21st Centuries, those powers have become blurred.

    Nowhere in the Constitution was the sole power to interpret the Constitution given only to the Supreme Court. All three branches have an obligation to study, interpret, and uphold the Constitution. I just took an Oath to do so.

    Because I am bound by that Oath, I cannot continue the act of legislation through regulation. Right now, there are thousands of regulations that are effectively laws. These exist because Congress after Congress has effectively given its powers to pass laws to the Executive Branch. This is not what the Founders intended, and it is not in the Constitution. Congress is meant to be the primary branch of government. Its functions are outlined in Article I. There is a reason it came first before the Presidency.

    Therefore, I have just signed an executive order returning to Congress its power to legislate. Because all power in the Executive Branch stems from the Presidency, I have the sole power to eliminate any all regulations I see fit. As of midnight tonight, all regulations that have not been directly written into law will be eliminated. Any pending cases involving those regulations will be dropped by the various agencies immediately. Any attempt at a court order to stop this action will be ignored as unconstitutional. All executive power is vested in the office of the President, and no executive agency has any power other than what is delegated to it. As of midnight tonight, that delegation of power will be revoked.

    Further, as Congress clearly cannot give away its power to legislate, and all Executive Power rests within the Presidency, there is no Constitutional mandate for any executive board of panel that is not wholly subject to Congress and the Executive. As such, the Order I just signed includes all executive functions, including things like the National Labor Relations Board, the Consumer Protection Board, and many others. Again, I will ignore any order by any court to the contrary, as no court, not even the Supreme Court, can order me to violate my oath to uphold and protect the Constitution of the United States of America.

    I invite Congress to do its job and pass legislation that spells out the regulatory regime it wishes to enact. If Congress wants to take away a citizen’s use of his property because it has decided a pond in his backyard is a navigable waterway and under its jurisdiction, Congress is free to do so. Those voting to do so will have to face voters, unlike the unelected bureaucrats of the federal government. I will hasten to add, that I have a veto pen, and I plan to make liberal use of it to block any laws I find to be oppressive. This will most especially include any attempt to restore regulations in some omnibus bill. Congress is going to have to study and read though the regulations it wants to pass. If legislation is not important enough for Congress to actually read, then it is not important enough for me to sign.

    I understand my stance will not be popular with lobbyists, career politicians, think tanks, their media lapdogs, and all other members of the Washington establishment who make their living by criminalizing their fellow citizens. Good. This is about restoration of America to rule by the people, of the people, and for the people, not rule by unelected bureaucrats.

    God Bless America.

    • #14
  15. Gary Robbins Member
    Gary Robbins
    @GaryRobbins

    A great post.

    • #15
  16. DrewInWisconsin, Oik Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oik
    @DrewInWisconsin

    .

    • #16
  17. Bob Thompson Member
    Bob Thompson
    @BobThompson

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    They only way is to scale back what the Federal Government can do. Restricting the Commerce Clause would be a dream.

    A President could do this, but none will, because they all like power. I have proposed this before here, but for those who have not seen it:

    President is sworn in. He pulls out a document and signs it, handing it to his incoming Chief of staff. Then he addresses America

    My Fellow Americans, I would like to open with a quick discussion on the Constitution. When the Founders laid out this great document, they believed in a separation of powers and checks and balances. Each of the three branches listed in Articles I, II, and III have their powers enumerated. In the 20th and 21st Centuries, those powers have become blurred.

    Nowhere in the Constitution was the sole power to interpret the Constitution given only to the Supreme Court. All three branches have an obligation to study, interpret, and uphold the Constitution. I just took an Oath to do so.

    Because I am bound by that Oath, I cannot continue the act of legislation through regulation. Right now, there are thousands of regulations that are effectively laws. These exist because Congress after Congress has effectively given its powers to pass laws to the Executive Branch. This is not what the Founders intended, and it is not in the Constitution. Congress is meant to be the primary branch of government. Its functions are outlined in Article I. There is a reason it came first before the Presidency.

    Therefore, I have just signed an executive order returning to Congress its power to legislate. Because all power in the Executive Branch stems from the Presidency, I have the sole power to eliminate any all regulations I see fit. As of midnight tonight, all regulations that have not been directly written into law will be eliminated. Any pending cases involving those regulations will be dropped by the various agencies immediately. Any attempt at a court order to stop this action will be ignored as unconstitutional. All executive power is vested in the office of the President, and no executive agency has any power other than what is delegated to it. As of midnight tonight, that delegation of power will be revoked.

    Further, as Congress clearly cannot give away its power to legislate, and all Executive Power rests within the Presidency, there is no Constitutional mandate for any executive board of panel that is not wholly subject to Congress and the Executive. As such, the Order I just signed includes all executive functions, including things like the National Labor Relations Board, the Consumer Protection Board, and many others. Again, I will ignore any order by any court to the contrary, as no court, not even the Supreme Court, can order me to violate my oath to uphold and protect the Constitution of the United States of America.

    I invite Congress to do its job and pass legislation that spells out the regulatory regime it wishes to enact. If Congress wants to take away a citizen’s use of his property because it has decided a pond in his backyard is a navigable waterway and under its jurisdiction, Congress is free to do so. Those voting to do so will have to face voters, unlike the unelected bureaucrats of the federal government. I will hasten to add, that I have a veto pen, and I plan to make liberal use of it to block any laws I find to be oppressive. This will most especially include any attempt to restore regulations in some omnibus bill. Congress is going to have to study and read though the regulations it wants to pass. If legislation is not important enough for Congress to actually read, then it is not important enough for me to sign.

    I understand my stance will not be popular with lobbyists, career politicians, think tanks, their media lapdogs, and all other members of the Washington establishment who make their living by criminalizing their fellow citizens. Good. This is about restoration of America to rule by the people, of the people, and for the people, not rule by unelected bureaucrats.

    God Bless America.

    This. This would be even better than the work Mike Lee has been doing for this. 

    We should do what is right for God, family, and America.

     

    • #17
  18. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    They only way is to scale back what the Federal Government can do. Restricting the Commerce Clause would be a dream.

    A President could do this, but none will, because they all like power. I have proposed this before here, but for those who have not seen it:

    President is sworn in. He pulls out a document and signs it, handing it to his incoming Chief of staff. Then he addresses America

    My Fellow Americans, I would like to open with a quick discussion on the Constitution. When the Founders laid out this great document, they believed in a separation of powers and checks and balances. Each of the three branches listed in Articles I, II, and III have their powers enumerated. In the 20th and 21st Centuries, those powers have become blurred.

    Nowhere in the Constitution was the sole power to interpret the Constitution given only to the Supreme Court. All three branches have an obligation to study, interpret, and uphold the Constitution. I just took an Oath to do so.

    Because I am bound by that Oath, I cannot continue the act of legislation through regulation. Right now, there are thousands of regulations that are effectively laws. These exist because Congress after Congress has effectively given its powers to pass laws to the Executive Branch. This is not what the Founders intended, and it is not in the Constitution. Congress is meant to be the primary branch of government. Its functions are outlined in Article I. There is a reason it came first before the Presidency.

    Therefore, I have just signed an executive order returning to Congress its power to legislate. Because all power in the Executive Branch stems from the Presidency, I have the sole power to eliminate any all regulations I see fit. As of midnight tonight, all regulations that have not been directly written into law will be eliminated. Any pending cases involving those regulations will be dropped by the various agencies immediately. Any attempt at a court order to stop this action will be ignored as unconstitutional. All executive power is vested in the office of the President, and no executive agency has any power other than what is delegated to it. As of midnight tonight, that delegation of power will be revoked.

    Further, as Congress clearly cannot give away its power to legislate, and all Executive Power rests within the Presidency, there is no Constitutional mandate for any executive board of panel that is not wholly subject to Congress and the Executive. As such, the Order I just signed includes all executive functions, including things like the National Labor Relations Board, the Consumer Protection Board, and many others. Again, I will ignore any order by any court to the contrary, as no court, not even the Supreme Court, can order me to violate my oath to uphold and protect the Constitution of the United States of America.

    I invite Congress to do its job and pass legislation that spells out the regulatory regime it wishes to enact. If Congress wants to take away a citizen’s use of his property because it has decided a pond in his backyard is a navigable waterway and under its jurisdiction, Congress is free to do so. Those voting to do so will have to face voters, unlike the unelected bureaucrats of the federal government. I will hasten to add, that I have a veto pen, and I plan to make liberal use of it to block any laws I find to be oppressive. This will most especially include any attempt to restore regulations in some omnibus bill. Congress is going to have to study and read though the regulations it wants to pass. If legislation is not important enough for Congress to actually read, then it is not important enough for me to sign.

    I understand my stance will not be popular with lobbyists, career politicians, think tanks, their media lapdogs, and all other members of the Washington establishment who make their living by criminalizing their fellow citizens. Good. This is about restoration of America to rule by the people, of the people, and for the people, not rule by unelected bureaucrats.

    God Bless America.

    This. This would be even better than the work Mike Lee has been doing for this.

    We should do what is right for God, family, and America.

     

    I think it is the only way that it will change, barring some radical ruling by SCOTUS.

    • #18
  19. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    I understand my stance will not be popular with lobbyists, career politicians, think tanks, their media lapdogs, and all other members of the Washington establishment who make their living by criminalizing their fellow citizens. Good. This is about restoration of America to rule by the people, of the people, and for the people, not rule by unelected bureaucrats.

    God Bless America.

    Oh, I love it. Just thinking about it makes me all giddy! I really do think that when we speculate on what can be done, we plant seeds. Thanks for posting your comment again, Bryan.

    • #19
  20. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Red Herring (View Comment):

    Great interview when Hassett’s book came out.


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K4kk7eJv8XE

    I very much appreciated this interview, Red. I’ll be putting the book on my list. Thanks!

    • #20
  21. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    I was thinking that tackling the swamp is really like fighting a war with two battlefronts. Both sides have people who are determined to defeat you (Left and Right), so except for a small but dedicated Special Ops, you’re on your own.

    • #21
  22. John Park Member
    John Park
    @jpark

    One place to start is by making federal agencies justify their continued existence. Take HUD: What has it not done that is part of its mission for 60 years and why haven’t you done it. Money is not an adequate excuse.

    That and a BRAC process: Bureaucracy Realignment and Closure Commission. We have gone through two rounds of military BRAC. It’s time for that process to be applied to the civilian bureaucracy.

    • #22
  23. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    iWe (View Comment):

    The President can de-unionize all federal employees with the stroke of a pen (they were unionized this way). That makes them ALL fireable.

    A bit over half of federal employees are unionized.

    • #23
  24. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    John Park (View Comment):
    That and a BRAC process: Bureaucracy Realignment and Closure Commission. We have gone through two rounds of military BRAC. It’s time for that process to be applied to the civilian bureaucracy.

    I remember when Gore was VP–he was going to reduce the federal bureaucracy. They’d have to figure out how to make it stick this time.

    • #24
  25. Painter Jean Moderator
    Painter Jean
    @PainterJean

    I would prefer DeSantis over Trump for a number of reasons, but one of those reasons gets to your subject: Trump could only have one term, and I don’t think that four years is enough to undo the damage that Biden has inflicted, let alone do any swamp draining.

    • #25
  26. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Very good point, Jean. The swamp has only gotten deeper and uglier.

    • #26
  27. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    @bryangstephens proposal is so wonderfully radical that it pulls me away from the fundamental question of whether the swamp can be drained? But let me try to do so: the several comments go to how to pare back government without addressing preconditions to successfully do so. The precondition is pain and fury. And the “swamp” has to feel that things are moving out of their control and that the choice is to be either drained or live of life abject misery at best. What will bring that about? The progressives are very good at the slow boil, desensitizing enough of the public to things that should stimulate outrage that the kind of fury of which I speak to does not grow to a threatening level. Like @susanquinn I want the swamp to be drained but despair of it being done. Draining the swamp seems to be the stuff of eschatology.

    • #27
  28. DonG (CAGW is a Hoax) Coolidge
    DonG (CAGW is a Hoax)
    @DonG

    Painter Jean (View Comment):

    I would prefer DeSantis over Trump for a number of reasons, but one of those reasons gets to your subject: Trump could only have one term, and I don’t think that four years is enough to undo the damage that Biden has inflicted, let alone do any swamp draining.

    DeSantis has shown the ability to staff a government to get stuff done.   Personal is still policy.

    • #28
  29. DonG (CAGW is a Hoax) Coolidge
    DonG (CAGW is a Hoax)
    @DonG

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):
    Small government conservatives, those who recognize the thinking underlying the federalism that characterized America’s founding principles on which the Constitution is based, have now seen why and exactly how big government sucks. It represents itself not the people.

    Do you remember that time that Paul Ryan (slayer of governments) was Speaker of the House and he spent every moment reforming government?   No?   That’s because it never happened.  

    • #29
  30. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Rodin (View Comment):
    But let me try to do so: the several comments go to how to pare back government without addressing preconditions to successfully doing so. The precondition is pain and fury. And the “swamp” has to feel that things are moving out of their control and that the choice is to be either drained or live of life abject misery at best

    Excellent point, Rodin. Most of us (including me) want to go directly to potential solutions. But I also fear that the preconditions are going to be incredibly difficult to create. We have to wonder what it will take to “move the swamp” in those directions.

    • #30
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