They're Making a List and Checking it Twice

AP Photo/Rick Scuteri

Despite the title, this is not an article about Santa Claus, though it does involve what you might refer to as a "naughty list." The people in question are with the American Accountability Foundation in Kentucky, and they are busily engaged in a project that I've been hoping to see all throughout the current presidential campaign. Tom Jones of the AAF received a $100,000 grant from the Heritage Foundation to do some important research work. They are poring through the backgrounds of federal workers, starting with the Department of Homeland Security. They are checking public comments and social media posts, looking for swamp dwellers who may be opposed to the policies of Donald Trump should he return to office next year. They plan to publish a list of as many as 100 names later this summer, and those people may have to rethink their future career prospects if Trump returns to the White House. (Associated Press)

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From his home office in small-town Kentucky, a seasoned political operative is quietly investigating scores of federal employees suspected of being hostile to the policies of Republican Donald Trump, an effort that dovetails with broader conservative preparations for a new White House.

Tom Jones and his American Accountability Foundation are digging into the backgrounds, social media posts and commentary of key high-ranking government employees, starting with the Department of Homeland Security. They are relying in part on tips from his network of conservative contacts, including even workers themselves. In a move that alarms some, they are preparing to publish the findings online.

With a $100,000 grant from the influential Heritage Foundation, the goal is to post 100 names of government workers to a website this summer to show a potential new administration who might be standing in the way of a second-term Trump agenda — and ripe for scrutiny, reclassifications, reassignments or firings.

The AP describes this effort as "alarming" and potentially invasive of government workers' privacy, but I would say it's long overdue. When Donald Trump first took office in 2017, he seemed to blithely assume that the various workers throughout the executive branch would receive their new instructions and follow them. I know many of us assumed the same thing. Why wouldn't he believe that? The new boss comes in, announces each department's assignments and priorities, and the workers are supposed to execute them.

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But as we now know, that's not what happened, particularly inside of DHS, the FBI, and the intelligence community. Too many senior officials were undermining Trump at every turn, failing to follow his guidelines and working to protect and shield his political opponents from lawful investigations. They stalled investigations into Hunter Biden involving tax evasion and his shady overseas business dealings on behalf of The Big Guy. They launched probes into traditionally conservative groups while ignoring the crimes of the liberal BLM rioters during the 2020 summer of love. Trump seemingly remained unaware of all of this.

Assuming Trump returns in January (and if he doesn't, the country is probably toast), things need to be different this time. I have stated here repeatedly that there needs to be a thorough housecleaning in the swamp, particularly at DHS. But you can't undertake a significant housecleaning until you identify where all of the rats are. That's where the American Accountability Foundation comes in. This isn't any sort of "invasion of privacy." The group is looking at publicly available information. If you work for the federal government and you've been going out on Twitter and posting about how Donald Trump is a monster and how all conservatives need to be locked up, that was a choice you made on your own. Don't act shocked if the new boss finds out about it and you have a pink slip waiting for you shortly after the new administration is installed. 

This sounds like a good start, but there will be more investigative work awaiting. If Donald Trump returns to office next year he is going to have a staggering mountain of work awaiting him to undo all of the damage that Joe Biden has done in less than four years. You can't tackle that sort of workload with a bunch of hateful malcontents gumming up the process. The AAF should move on to the IRS and a number of other federal departments when they're done with DHS. I have no doubt there are plenty of additional rats who need to be ejected from the ship on day one.

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David Strom 2:30 PM | July 20, 2024
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