Servants Who Think They Are Masters

 

We on Ricochet complain a lot about how employees of the federal government act like the masters, and think citizens are their servants. According to our Constitution, the truth is the opposite.

But particularly galling is the audacity of the more than 400 government employees from many different departments signing a letter demanding that the President (elected by the citizens of the United States) adopt policies to the liking of those employees. The letter demands the President change policy to support a “cease-fire” in the Hamas-Israel war. (NBC report. National Review via MSN report.) Following up on the post of @susanquinn .

Obvious to us, but apparently not to these people, is that employees of the federal government are servants of the American citizens. The citizens (directly or indirectly) elect the President, Senators, and Congressional representatives to develop policies of the federal (national) government. The jobs of the government employees are to implement the policies developed by the elected representatives of the citizens. The employees (servants of the citizens of the United States) do not get to demand of the citizens’ elected representatives adopt the servants’ preferred policies.

Yet here are these employees of the federal government – servants of the American citizens – claiming some power to tell the elected representatives of the citizens what policies those elected representatives should favor. That is a particularly egregious offense to the principles of American governance.

First off, I’d recommend firing immediately all 400-plus signatories to that letter for clear gross incompetence. They fail to understand basic American civics that is essential to the conduct of their jobs.

Longer term, perhaps the government should contract with an outfit like Kite and Key Media or Hillsdale College to put together some short videos or a short course for all new national (federal) government employees on the Constitutional role of the national government.

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  1. cdor Member
    cdor
    @cdor

    They are Federal employees, but they are also citizens of the USA, I hope. As such, they have the right to petition their government…our government. I believe there are approximately 2 million Federal employees. 400 is a tiny, tiny, tiny percentage. As a percentage, there are probably more jerks than that on my block.

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

    Full Size Tabby:

    First off, I’d recommend firing immediately all 400+ of the signatories to that letter for clear gross incompetence because of their failure to understand basic American civics that is essential to the conduct of their jobs.

    Longer term, perhaps the government should contract with an outfit like Kite and Key Media or Hillsdale College to put together some short videos or a short course for all new national (federal) government employees on the Constitutional role of the national government.

    I love this plan! Although if we fired everyone that we thought deserved it, we’d have no servants at all! But they clearly need to be re-educated and at least disciplined. It is so outrageous. (Thanks for the hat tip.)

    • #2
  3. Full Size Tabby Member
    Full Size Tabby
    @FullSizeTabby

    cdor (View Comment):

    They are Federal employees, but they are also citizens of the USA, I hope. As such, they have the right to petition their government…our government. I believe there are approximately 2 million Federal employees. 400 is a tiny, tiny, tiny percentage. As a percentage, there are probably more jerks than that on my block.

    The problem is that they “signed” the letter as employees, not as citizens. They act as though their employee status gives them superior claim to dictate policy than does their status as citizens.  

    • #3
  4. Full Size Tabby Member
    Full Size Tabby
    @FullSizeTabby

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Full Size Tabby:

    First off, I’d recommend firing immediately all 400+ of the signatories to that letter for clear gross incompetence because of their failure to understand basic American civics that is essential to the conduct of their jobs.

    Longer term, perhaps the government should contract with an outfit like Kite and Key Media or Hillsdale College to put together some short videos or a short course for all new national (federal) government employees on the Constitutional role of the national government.

    I love this plan! Although if we fired everyone that we thought deserved it, we’d have no servants at all! But they clearly need to be re-educated and at least disciplined. It is so outrageous. (Thanks for the hat tip.)

    I often think that if we fired half or more of the federal government employees (I don’t care which half – pick them at random) the citizens would be better off just by the reduction of the drag. The American public doesn’t need 4 million (or whatever the number is) federal (national) government employees, even if they did understand their roles as servants. 

    • #4
  5. Paul Stinchfield Member
    Paul Stinchfield
    @PaulStinchfield

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):
    I often think that if we fired half or more of the federal government employees (I don’t care which half – pick them at random) the citizens would be better off just by the reduction of the drag.

    There may be some ready-to-use military “low speed, high drag” memes out there.

    • #5
  6. Bob Thompson Member
    Bob Thompson
    @BobThompson

    I agree with @fullsizetabby that American citizens are supposed to be who elects our elected federal officials but I’m not certain that is how it is working today. I am certain that the federal government is not serving the American citizens with the southern border being uncontrolled. I am also certain that federal employees are made to be comfortable with this type of collective employee behavior because of the deference shown to them by the US Congress and their approach to open-ended delegation to the bureaucracy to formulate legal requirements across almost all areas of life. We are so far from where we should be on these matters that nothing the bureaucrats think or try to do is surprising.

    • #6
  7. cdor Member
    cdor
    @cdor

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):

    cdor (View Comment):

    They are Federal employees, but they are also citizens of the USA, I hope. As such, they have the right to petition their government…our government. I believe there are approximately 2 million Federal employees. 400 is a tiny, tiny, tiny percentage. As a percentage, there are probably more jerks than that on my block.

    The problem is that they “signed” the letter as employees, not as citizens. They act as though their employee status gives them superior claim to dictate policy than does their status as citizens.

    Yeah, well I don’t think so!

    • #7
  8. Barfly Member
    Barfly
    @Barfly

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):

    cdor (View Comment):

    They are Federal employees, but they are also citizens of the USA, I hope. As such, they have the right to petition their government…our government. I believe there are approximately 2 million Federal employees. 400 is a tiny, tiny, tiny percentage. As a percentage, there are probably more jerks than that on my block.

    The problem is that they “signed” the letter as employees, not as citizens. They act as though their employee status gives them superior claim to dictate policy than does their status as citizens.

    One would think that is obvious. If servicemen had sent such a letter, they’d be disciplined.

    From the article:

    The rift between the White House and State Department led one official to question the professional conduct of signatories. “In two decades, I’ve never seen State Department management make such a fuss about employees’ purported emotions and feelings, to the extent that dissent is essentially being encouraged,”

    Their conduct is not citizenship, it’s sedition.

    • #8
  9. Ignore This, Pal! Inactive
    Ignore This, Pal!
    @OldDanRhody

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):
    I am also certain that federal employees are made to be comfortable with this type of collective employee behavior because of the deference shown to them by the US Congress and their approach to open-ended delegation to the bureaucracy to formulate legal requirements across almost all areas of life

    This.  Congress has been missing in action for longer than I can remember.

    • #9
  10. Kevin Schulte Member
    Kevin Schulte
    @KevinSchulte

    Simple solution.

    No Cola (cost of living increase) this year or next for the miscreants .

    However, there is always a communist judge out there to slap that down .

    • #10
  11. TBA Coolidge
    TBA
    @RobtGilsdorf

    cdor (View Comment):

    They are Federal employees, but they are also citizens of the USA, I hope. As such, they have the right to petition their government…our government. I believe there are approximately 2 million Federal employees. 400 is a tiny, tiny, tiny percentage. As a percentage, there are probably more jerks than that on my block.

    They do have that right. I’m not sure that accurately describes what they did though. 

    Add’ly, there is the question of whether you can rely on these people to do the jobs they are being paid to do. 

    • #11
  12. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    cdor (View Comment):
    They are Federal employees, but they are also citizens of the USA, I hope. As such, they have the right to petition their government…our government.

    If they are acting as Federal employees on the clock, then petitioning the government is not part of their job.  An analogy would be a MacDonald’s employee exercising her “right to free speech” by wearing a “Meat Is Murder” button.  She either removes the button, or be fired . . .

    • #12
  13. Old Bathos Member
    Old Bathos
    @OldBathos

    The cult of The Expert needs to go.  There are a hell of a lot of Experts in government who regard democracy as an impediment to enlightened rule.   People complain about the corrupting influence of lobbyists but the vast majority are just playing defense, explaining to Congress and the agencies that their latest Genius Idea actually has a major downside.

    Back when Schumer was in the House, he decided he would solve the problem of auto theft for delivery to chop shops:  Every valuable component on every automobile must have serial number with full info on ownership in a central federal database.  Reps from the auto companies and the aftermarket explained that Earl and Harley’s junkyard would need a mainframe and big staff to record every number on every body part and all major engine parts, that every replaced part would have to be entered at every collision repair/body shop, that the proposed federal database would likely be larger than any military systems at the time and that even with all that, detection and that enforcement would be a nightmare–would cops stop and remove door panels and bumpers on cars with suspected stolen parts?  Chuck Schumer was reportedly annoyed that the industry did not grasp his genius.

    And then there was the lawyer in EPA who accidentally abolished the parts rebuilding industry (75% of all brakes sold are rebuilt because the shoes are by design highly durable and the pads expected to be replaced when the wear out) when drafting new regs because he did not know that asbestos brake pads could be replaced by non-asbestos pads when rebuilt or even that there was such an industry (at least 700 such small and medium remanufacturing firms).  The US Court of Appeals killed the regs before they went into effect due to some good lawyering by an old acquaintance.

    The federal clownshow that is increasingly staffed by people with degrees in foreign policy, environment, and woke studies needs more lobby-driven political intervention, not less.  Our Experts seem more detached from the reality of everyday life or even openly hostile to it.

    • #13
  14. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    In simple image form for easy sharing:

     

    • #14
  15. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Old Bathos (View Comment):

    The cult of The Expert needs to go. There are a hell of a lot of Experts in government who regard democracy as an impediment to enlightened rule. People complain about the corrupting influence of lobbyists but the vast majority are just playing defense, explaining to Congress and the agencies that their latest Genius Idea actually has a major downside.

    Back when Schumer was in the House, he decided he would solve the problem of auto theft for delivery to chop shops: Every valuable component on every automobile must have serial number with full info on ownership in a central federal database. Reps from the auto companies and the aftermarket explained that Earl and Harley’s junkyard would need a mainframe and big staff to record every number on every body part and all major engine parts, that every replaced part would have to be entered at every collision repair/body shop, that the proposed federal database would likely be larger than any military systems at the time and that even with all that, detection and that enforcement would be a nightmare–would cops stop and remove door panels and bumpers on cars with suspected stolen parts? Chuck Schumer was reportedly annoyed that the industry did not grasp his genius.

    And it would have been totally error-free, of course.  Nobody would ever misread or mistype a serial number resulting in someone getting arrested – or worse – for supposedly stealing something they didn’t really steal.

    Just like nobody gets arrested – or worse – already because cops enter a license place wrong.

    Except they do.

    • #15
  16. Skyler Coolidge
    Skyler
    @Skyler

    Petitioning the government is not a problem.  I don’t see the basis of your complaint.  

    When they take action in their jobs based on politics instead of as neutral administrators of the law, then that is a problem.  If they tell their boss what they like or don’t like, I don’t much care.  

    It’s true that they’re less likely to do their job in an unbiased manner nowadays, but that’s a deeper problem than will be corrected by extinguishing their right to free speech.

    • #16
  17. Basil Fawlty Member
    Basil Fawlty
    @BasilFawlty

    cdor (View Comment):

    They are Federal employees, but they are also citizens of the USA, I hope. As such, they have the right to petition their government…our government. I believe there are approximately 2 million Federal employees. 400 is a tiny, tiny, tiny percentage. As a percentage, there are probably more jerks than that on my block.

    Gotta wonder if 400 Federal employees writing a letter protesting ATF abuses would be viewed as equally pernicious.

    • #17
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