Lifson flashes the President’s Shutdown “Trump” card

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Lifson flashes the President's Shutdown "Trump" card

In two min­utes they were along­side, and the men came pour­ing on deck a hun­dred and twenty men laden with their small pos­ses­sions, escorted by thirty of the Sunderland’s hands. They were made wel­come by the rest of the crew, all with broad grins. It was a pecu­liar­ity of the British pressed sailor that he was always glad to see other men pressed — in the same way, thought Hornblower,

C.S. Forester Ship of the Line 1938

Never let a Cri­sis go to waste.


Rahm Emanuel

One of the things that fifty plus years have taught me is that the most dra­matic change gen­er­ally hap­pen when peo­ple notice an unex­pected oppor­tu­nity and exploit it.

Thomas Lif­son at the Amer­i­can Thinker has spot­ted such an oppor­tu­nity that is about to be handed to the Trump admin­is­tra­tion.

In only five more days of the already “longest gov­ern­ment shut­down in his­tory” (25 days and count­ing, as of today), a hereto­fore obscure thresh­old will be reached, enabling per­ma­nent lay­offs of bureau­crats fur­loughed 30 days or more.


Don’t believe me that fed­eral bureau­crats can be laid off? Well, in bureau­cratese, a lay­off is called a RIF – a Reduc­tion in Force – and of course, it comes with a slew of civil ser­vice pro­tec­tions. But, if the guide­lines are fol­lowed, bureau­crats can be laid off – as in no more job.

Lif­son ref­er­ence the now famous Daily Caller piece from an “uniden­ti­fied senior Trump offi­cial” who remarks how much more effi­cient things are run­ning dur­ing the “shut­down” with both the dead­wood and those try­ing to sab­o­tage the admin­is­tra­tion gone and sug­gests that this might have been the president’s plan all along.

I have to dis­agree here, I think the Pres­i­dent was likely unaware of this rule and was sim­ply look­ing for the best way to secure wall fund­ing, which is why as I’ve already writ­ten, he didn’t push it dur­ing when a McCain or a Flake could kill it in the same way they saved Oba­macare. He under­stood that he was more likely to achieve GOP unity on the issue of fund­ing when as part of a deal with democ­rats than by try­ing to keep the party in line against a united lib­eral front.

That being said I’ve never seen a pres­i­dent so able to spot an open­ing and take advan­tage of it. If the Trump admin­is­tra­tion didn’t know about this rule con­cern­ing RIF’s before they sure as hell do now and believe me he’ll be using this card, likely after the State of the Union to hit the left where it hurts the most.

I have a funny feel­ing Pelosi, no slouch on polit­i­cal manip­u­la­tion, has noticed this as well which is why we’re see­ing sto­ries like this:


The prospect of a state of the union speech with a bal­cony full of fam­i­lies who lost loved one to killers who entered the coun­try ille­gally and were pro­tected by Demo­c­rat pol­icy is bad for the party. The optics of Democ­rats in the cham­ber look­ing angry and sit­ting with their arms folded while GOP mem­bers of con­gress stand and clap for them is worse.

How­ever both are minor annoy­ances com­pared to Don­ald Trump announc­ing to the pub­lic that thanks to the shut­down his admin­is­tra­tion has deter­mined that the gov­ern­ment can actu­ally func­tion just as well if not bet­ter with­out the tens or hun­dreds of thou­sands of “non essen­tial” fed­eral employ­ees cur­rently fur­loughed and thus is direct­ing depart­ment heads to begin elim­i­nat­ing posi­tions they have deter­mined are unnec­es­sary via the RIF process.

After all if those posi­tions are not essen­tial then why should tax­payer money be spent to fill them? Gov­ern­ment employ­ees are sup­posed to be pub­lic ser­vants, not pub­lic wards.

While such a speech would strike a cord with every sin­gle per­son who has been laid off in the past and had to deal with an uncar­ing bureau­cracy dur­ing the process the pos­si­bil­ity of Don­ald Trump, the mas­ter show­man mak­ing such a state­ment dur­ing the State of the Union is a threat far greater to the left than any amount of wall funding.

If the Democ­rats are smart they’ll make a deal this week­end and get all of this off the table fig­ur­ing that it’s far enough from the next elec­tion for them to pla­cate their vot­ers, if they’re really smart they’ll make a deal for full fund­ing for the wall in exchange for full amnesty for the Dream­ers and high­light their legal­iza­tion as a promise kept.

Because if they don’t I sus­pect Don­ald Trump the busi­ness­man will see that the Democ­rats have inad­ver­tently given him a once in a gen­er­a­tion chance to actu­ally drain the swamp in Wash­ing­ton, some­thing almost as con­se­quen­tial and a lot more dif­fi­cult than than the build­ing or secur­ing of fund­ing for a wall and to do so in a way that directly hits the peo­ple who have caused the most harm to his entire agenda since day one.

I sub­mit and sug­gest that once he gets that chance, he’ll take it.


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In two minutes they were alongside, and the men came pouring on deck a hundred and twenty men laden with their small possessions, escorted by thirty of the Sunderland’s hands. They were made welcome by the rest of the crew, all with broad grins. It was a peculiarity of the British pressed sailor that he was always glad to see other men pressed—in the same way, thought Hornblower,

C.S. Forester Ship of the Line 1938

Never let a Crisis go to waste.


Rahm Emanuel

One of the things that fifty plus years have taught me is that the most dramatic change generally happen when people notice an unexpected opportunity and exploit it.

Thomas Lifson at the American Thinker has spotted such an opportunity that is about to be handed to the Trump administration.


In only five more days of the already “longest government shutdown in history” (25 days and counting, as of today), a heretofore obscure threshold will be reached, enabling permanent layoffs of bureaucrats furloughed 30 days or more.


Don’t believe me that federal bureaucrats can be laid off?  Well, in bureaucratese, a layoff is called a RIF – a Reduction in Force – and of course, it comes with a slew of civil service protections.  But, if the guidelines are followed, bureaucrats can be laid off – as in no more job. 

Lifson reference the now famous Daily Caller piece from an “unidentified senior Trump official” who remarks how much more efficient things are running during the “shutdown” with both the deadwood and those trying to sabotage the administration gone and suggests that this might have been the president’s plan all along.

I have to disagree here, I think the President was likely unaware of this rule and was simply looking for the best way to secure wall funding, which is why as I’ve already written, he didn’t push it during when a McCain or a Flake could kill it in the same way they saved Obamacare. He understood that he was more likely to achieve GOP unity on the issue of funding when as part of a deal with democrats than by trying to keep the party in line against a united liberal front.

That being said I’ve never seen a president so able to spot an opening and take advantage of it. If the Trump administration didn’t know about this rule concerning RIF’s before they sure as hell do now and believe me he’ll be using this card, likely after the State of the Union to hit the left where it hurts the most.

I have a funny feeling Pelosi, no slouch on political manipulation, has noticed this as well which is why we’re seeing stories like this:

The prospect of a state of the union speech with a balcony full of families who lost loved one to killers who entered the country illegally and were protected by Democrat policy is bad for the party. The optics of Democrats in the chamber looking angry and sitting with their arms folded while GOP members of congress stand and clap for them is worse.

However both are minor annoyances compared to Donald Trump announcing to the public that thanks to the shutdown his administration has determined that the government can actually function just as well if not better without the tens or hundreds of thousands of “non essential” federal employees currently furloughed and thus is directing department heads to begin eliminating positions they have determined are unnecessary via the RIF process.

After all if those positions are not essential then why should taxpayer money be spent to fill them? Government employees are supposed to be public servants, not public wards.

While such a speech would strike a cord with every single person who has been laid off in the past and had to deal with an uncaring bureaucracy during the process the possibility of Donald Trump, the master showman making such a statement during the State of the Union is a threat far greater to the left than any amount of wall funding.

If the Democrats are smart they’ll make a deal this weekend and get all of this off the table figuring that it’s far enough from the next election for them to placate their voters, if they’re really smart they’ll make a deal for full funding for the wall in exchange for full amnesty for the Dreamers and highlight their legalization as a promise kept.

Because if they don’t I suspect Donald Trump the businessman will see that the Democrats have inadvertently given him a once in a generation chance to actually drain the swamp in Washington, something almost as consequential and a lot more difficult than than the building or securing of funding for a wall and to do so in a way that directly hits the people who have caused the most harm to his entire agenda since day one.

I submit and suggest that once he gets that chance, he’ll take it.

This site is paid for by you. Last year we managed $5294 of our $22K goal. If you think what we do worthwhile please consider subscribing to help keep our writers and the bills paid.
Choose a Subscription level
Of course one time Tip jar hits and always welcome too.
Either way it’s most appreciated.