The case for shortening the presidential transition

That last item could be the most serious, as it potentially would give Trump the power to fire thousands of federal workers in the next few weeks — effectively sabotaging the new administration before it takes over.

Trump “should not be making these changes, period, and certainly not changes this dramatic on [his] way out,” Max Stier, president and chief executive of the Partnership for Public Service, told The Washington Post.

These problems were inevitable. As I wrote a few weeks ago, now that networks have declared Biden the winner of the election, Trump has little to lose by behaving badly. The country is at the mercy of an outgoing president who knows how to make trouble.

Logistics are partly to blame. The machinery of American government is huge, a multi-trillion dollar operation with millions of employees. Shifting power from one administration to the next is almost always a logistical nightmare.