To hear the professional commentariat tell it, you’d think the Constitution gives President Donald Trump absolutely zero power over the permanent bureaucracy in Washington, D.C.
How else to explain the cacophony of talking heads exploding over the president’s decisions to remove executive branch personnel whom he feels he can no longer trust, and to express his opinions on the sentencing recommendations in the Roger Stone trial and the job done by the judge in that trial regarding weeding out potential bias among jurors?
First, to the firings of the two Vindmans (Alexander and his brother, Yevgeny) and former Ambassador Gordon Sondland. The talking heads seem to believe that these officials enjoy some kind of protected employment status. But they were executive branch personnel. That is, they worked for the president. They served at his pleasure. If for whatever reason he didn’t feel comfortable with them, President Trump was within his rights to give them the boot. That he did so should not surprise anyone.
As for expressing an opinion on the Justice Department prosecutors’ sentencing recommendation, again, the prosecutors in question are executive branch employees. They work for the president, not the other way around. He didn’t send an order to change their recommendation, though he could have. He merely expressed his opinion. What, winning the presidency requires you to give up your First Amendment rights to express yourself?
Here’s the real problem: The talking heads would have you believe that the permanent bureaucracy knows best. That the permanent bureaucracy should be the ones making decisions on these matters. The president, after all, is just a guest in the nation’s capital.
That is wrong. In our system, the people are sovereign. They elect a president every four years to enact their policy choices by directing the permanent bureaucracy. The president’s actions are on their behalf — and those who would deny the president the authority to make policy decisions are actually denying the sovereignty of the people themselves.
Jenny Beth Martin is the honorary chairman of Tea Party Patriots Action.
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