December 1, 2017

GOP does the hiring even if Trump does some firing

When news arrives that Trump is firing someone who is bad for America, Trump supporters should not just release a flood of endorphins because our guy got to say "you're fired!" to an enemy. The question is -- who is the replacement? Will that person be even worse for America?

There is no such thing as the ability to fire, without the ability to hire the replacement.

At the top level, personalities do not matter -- they are just interchangeable cogs in the great big machine. Within institutions, there are job descriptions, not individuals.

If jihad-enabler #1 gets fired from a top government slot, only for jihad-enabler #2 to take his place -- it is as if the first one had not been fired in the first place. There is a top slot open for a jihad-enabler (job description), and they don't care who in particular fills it (individual #1, individual #2), as long as they are good at carrying out the tasks listed in the job description.

The NYT says that Pentagon junta member General Kelly has a plan to move Tillerson out as Secretary of State, to be replaced by current CIA head Pompeo, with Senator Cotton to take over at the CIA.

Pompeo has become a foaming at the mouthpiece for the Deep State during his brief tenure at the CIA, and will be far worse than Tillerson as our country's chief diplomat. Ditto for Cotton taking over at CIA, where he will be an even greater hawk, especially on Iran, than even Pompeo was.

With Cotton's departure from the Senate, we also lose one of the few Senators willing to champion a bill to slash legal immigration (the RAISE Act), just as we lost Sessions to his do-nothing position as symbolic Attorney General, where Rod Rosenstein is the de facto head of law enforcement. (And Roger Stone says Sessions will be out as AG, de jure, by around the end of the year. A total waste for him to have left the Senate.)

The only Trump-sympathizing Senator left for them to clear out of Congress is Rand Paul.

We are not getting good replacements for Sessions, Cotton, or hypothetically Paul. Whether it's a Tea Party figure like Roy Moore, or a corporate shill like Luther Strange, neither is going to be one of the few good Republicans in the Senate like Sessions was.

To choose another example, Reince Priebus was a dirty traitorous rat, but he was less powerful and connected than General Kelly, who took his place. Under Kelly's watch, Trump is effectively shut off from anyone not approved by the Pentagon junta, whereas Priebus was a doughy ineffectual hack who had no control over people seeing Trump, talking to Trump, and passing along information to Trump.

Then there was the firing of James Comey -- only to be replaced by yet another swamp creature with bipartisan support, nudge-nudge wink-wink. Hell, if Trump fires Mueller, maybe de facto AG Rosenstein will appoint another special prosecutor to look into whether that firing constitutes obstruction of justice.

Comey, Mueller, Tillerson -- they are just the particular occupants of an ongoing job description with tasks that include spying on Trump people, dangling impeachment over Trump's head, and strengthening ties to jihadist nations. If these individuals don't perform those tasks well, or if Trump decides to fire them for some other reason, they will be replaced by individuals who will try harder to carry out these anti-American tasks in the job description.

In order for the populist-nationalist movement to truly score a victory, we must eliminate that job slot entirely -- or at least those tasks in it that are anti-American, like keeping a leash on the People's President with the threat of a bogus obstruction charge. Or when the job description of the Secretary of State changes to include the task of "getting along with Russia" rather than "getting deeper into bed with Jihadi Arabia".

When we put harder pressure on the Establishment to do what we voted for in the election, this is what we must target -- the job description, not the individual. We don't have a vendetta against James Comey, longtime protector of Clinton criminality though he may be -- we want to see the FBI Director's job description no longer include the task of subverting the outcome of the voters' election, if that outcome displeases the elites.

And when we point out how much worse Pompeo will be than Tillerson, it's not because he's bad on a personal level -- but because he's going to work harder at the anti-American tasks in the current job description of Secretary of State. Especially under a GOP administration, when the description includes potentially kicking off a War on Terror 2.0 that targets Iran instead of Iraq, rather than a country that has ever attacked us like Saudi Arabia (9/11).

For that matter, if the current administration turns out to be a let-down, we should not put too much of the blame on Trump -- he's only a person, not the job description. And he ran on, and tried his best in the first 70 days, to radically alter the job descriptions of every high-ranking government officer.

The Pentagon faction of the GOP coalition out-maneuvered him beginning with the silent coup in April (Syrian regime change), and railroaded his most powerful ally (Flynn). This counter-insurgency managed to keep the job descriptions just how you would expect them to be under any old GOP administration, including the tasks to be performed by the President -- rant about cutting taxes, leave the southern border unsecured, arm jihadist nations, and call out only Democrats (rather than confess what the people already feel, that "I'm actually more disappointed in the Republicans").

The same could be said of Obama, Bush, Clinton, Reagan, etc. -- the power factions that made up the coalition of the party controlling the White House created the job descriptions, and staffed them with individuals who either carried out those tasks or were replaced by others who would. Obama campaigned on Hope and Change, populism lite, only to turn into a figurehead for the big Wall Street banks, who control the Democrat party. If he hadn't complied with those tasks, he would've been replaced by someone who would.

There is going to be a lot of personnel turnover during this administration, so we have to zoom out and see if anything is really changing in what the new vs. old personnel are doing.

So far, there has only been one group of substantial changes in personnel -- the purging of the Trump supporters from the national security apparatus, beginning with Flynn and ending with Bannon. They were most definitely not replaced by people who were similar-enough to those who had gotten fired. General McMaster is just another Cold War-mindset, jihadist-enabling war-loser. And nobody has even replaced Bannon -- at the current rate, it would be Bill Kristol.


  1. This is one ray of hope, and that is that they stopped the assistance to the jihadists in Syria. Since the whole thing was covert and under-reported in the US press, its hard to see what was exactly going on there. Bloggers keep saying that the Justice Department has been doing encouraging stuff on immigration, though its hard to see what.

    Overall I agree and one lesson with Trump, which was already apparent from Obama, is that the president has become a figurehead office.

  2. In Syria they've simply switched the Kurds in for the jihadists. Kurds are now on the payroll of the Saudis, and as usual armed and assisted by Uncle Sam. Supported at least politically by Israel.

    Their role is to be the mercenaries for the jihadist power, Saudi Arabia.

  3. A misleading phrase is "personnel is policy". It suggests that what is up in the air is who gets the job -- person A or person B? Only when that contest is settled, will we know what kind of policies will be pursued from that position -- those of A or those of B.

    In that view, there are only individuals as actors. It is one individual vs many other individuals to get the job, and then policy is the outcome of this individual-level struggle. Typical myopic individualism, usually coming from the Right / Conservatives.

    In reality, "Policy selects personnel". The job description says jihadist enabler, so the job goes to a jihadist enabler rather than an opponent of jihadism. The job description is "written" by a group -- the coalition that is in control -- and that group makes the choice of who to fill that slot.

    This is the collective / institutional view, where groups and groups of groups are actors. Usually coming from the Left / Progressives.

    What is up in the air, and under a sometimes vicious contest, is which policies are to be pursued. For the first 70 days, the Trump movement was pushing its policy agenda, and selecting personnel in line with that -- Flynn, Sessions, Bannon, et al.

    Now that the GOP has hijacked the policy agenda, personnel changes have been made to fit the same old Republican bullshit -- McMaster, Pompeo, Rosenstein, Wray, et al.


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