GUEST BLOG: Andra Jenkin – When The Boss is Bad – Staff and Citizens React

By   /   February 17, 2017  /   11 Comments

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As usual, Trump is unpopular, with 67% of people in a Gallup poll thinking that foreign leaders don’t respect him. Not a huge shock considering the welcome extended to foreigners residing in the country Trump is currently running into the ground.

As usual, Trump is unpopular, with 67% of people in a Gallup poll thinking that foreign leaders don’t respect him. Not a huge shock considering the welcome extended to foreigners residing in the country Trump is currently running into the ground.

The New York Times reported on the 11th of February that  “Donald J. Trump’s arrival in the White House has spread anxiety, frustration, fear and resistance among many of the two million non-political civil servants who say they work for the public, not a particular president.”
Which begs the question, when the boss is bad, what do staff do?

Some, like Sally Yates, have refused to carry out orders they say are illegal. Others like heads of the state department Patrick Kennedy, Joyce Anne Barr, Michele Bond and Gentry Smith quit rather than work for Trump, though there were rumours that they were fired.

All American diplomats overseas were. There is a change of diplomats when there’s a change of government, but usually extensions are granted. This is for convenience in some cases such as those with young children or until the position can be filled due to sensitive situations diplomats deal with. Not under Trump. Inauguration day is a fire sale and all diplomats must go.

EPA scientists were trying not to get fired while trying to ‘slow-walk President Trump’s environmental orders.’ Others in the Digital Service became scared that they would be required to do work that was against their moral codes. One reported to the New York Times that when they heard Steve Bannon’s staff position “…she realized their combined technological prowess would be harnessed for a new purpose.” Queue the music from Jaws. No really.  Gabrielle Martin, a trial lawyer and 30-year veteran at the Denver office of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, is actually referencing the film when describing the dread she and her colleagues feel. “People are just wary — is the shark going to come up out of the water?”

Yes. Yes it is.

A letter of dissent was signed by 1000 staff members was sent protesting the Muslim ban, which was clearly ignored.

Welcome to the America of raids, ‘deportation forces’ ICE checkpoint fears and deportations of dangerous criminals such as a mother with American children, a man working his job at target, and detaining hundreds of people in what can only be called racial profiling checks. This is around the time when some bright spark will suggest it’s easier for immigrants who look a bit too immigranty to appear legal to the authorities, to start wearing some identifying badge to let ICE know that they are the good immigrants, with papers.

The same bright spark might also pipe up that if immigrants who might be profiled for being a bit too racial carry papers around with them to prove that they are the right kind of immigrant, then it will just save time and authorities can get on with deporting the mother’s and retail workers that are the ‘bad’ immigrants.

What with being afraid to go to work, school, ride buses or go into public places, there are few immigrants left who aren’t the terrified kind that are in the market for an attic space to hide in for the next four years.

Scott Surovell, Virginia state senator heard that the uptake in enforcement is frightening schoolchildren, who may stay home because “They don’t know if their parents are going to be taken away.”

LGBQT people are also eyeing up attics after Jeff Sessions was made Attorney General. Rachel B. Tiven, CEO of Lambda legal says of him “The chief lawyer of the United States is now someone who has devoted his whole life to obstructing civil rights…”

Exercising those rights on the 11th of February was The Black Cat protest in the same location and on the 50 year anniversary of the protest outside the gay Black Cat Tavern which ended in police brutality 2 years before the Stonewall riots. This year an officer shook the hand of the organiser of the original protest, Alexei Romanoff, and thanked him, and two openly gay officers spoke to the crowd. Progress has been made in the last 50 years, progress the LGBTQ community does not want to see disappear in the next four years.

Robin Tyler, going through the courts to have her pre-proposition 8 marriage recognised told the crowd “We’ve survived mental institutions, we’ve survived penal institutions, we’ve survived behavior modification. We’ve survived our children being taken from us. We’ve survived our parents throwing us out of our houses. We’ve survived losing everybody to AIDS. We’ve survived everything. And we sure as hell will be able to survive Donald fucking Trump.”

With the rapid negative changes affecting America and the rest of the world it’s worth remembering what we have survived. Let’s hope we are all as resilient as Robin.

References (because the truth and where it comes from is important).
Graham, D., (2017, January 26). Trump’s hollowed-out state department. Retreived from 9.58pm 12.2.2017
Hirschfeld, D., (2017, 5 January). In break with precedent Obama envoys are denied extensions past inauguration day. Retrieved from 10.24pm 12.2.2017.
Reynolds, D., (2017, 11 February). DOJ files brief undermining protections of transgender students. Retrieved from 11.01pm 12.2.2017
Ross, J., Davis, C., and Achenback, J., (2017, 12 February). Immigrant community on high alert fearing Trump’s ‘deportation force’. Retrieved from 9.14pm 12.02.17
Shear, M., and Lichtblau, E., (2017, 11 February).’ A sense of dread’ for civil servants shaken by Trump transition. Retrieved from 9.49pm 12.2.2017.
Shepard, S., (2017, 11 February). 5 numbers that mattered this week. Retrieved from 9.34pm 12.2.2107. \
Tico Times Staff, (2017, 18 January). US ambassador Haney to continue in his post. Retrieved from 10.30pm 12.2.2017


Andra Jenkin co-wrote Double-Edged Sword- The Simonne Butler Story, and contributed to New Zealand Anthology of Women’s Comics ‘Three Words.’

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  1. CLEANGREEN says:

    67% of people in any poll will show that most countries don’t think much of their leaders also as most leaders don’t respect them.

    At least Trump is carrying out his promises!

    That cant be said of many other leaders now can it?

    • Samwise says:

      Even if those promises are an assault on the human rights of minorities, clean green? How would you react if some of trump’s promises impacted on you or your family??

      SOrry, mate, but just because they are a promise doesn’t legitimise up democratic policies. Remember that the Nats were re-elected on the promise of asset sales . Did that make it right?

  2. Brutus Iscariot says:

    Contrary to some beliefs, Trump is not about to start persecuting gays. As far as women’s rights are concerned, he used the Republican Party as a vehicle to power, but i believe he shares little in common with large parts of the standard ideological platform.

    If he’s a Republican, he’s a “Business Republican”, not a “Hawk Republican” or a “Bible Basher republican”. He’s dealt with and got on with a pretty diverse bunch of people over his business career in those industries, and although he’s a lecherous perve, i wouldn’t classify him as dismissive of women’s abilities.

    As for the Supreme Court, Gorsuch is pretty moderate, particularly vis a vis Scalia.

    • Sally's Husband says:

      A “business republican”? So a free market capitalist in other words.

      Remind us why we should support a free market capitalist, Brutis? Considering that TDB is a left-wing website promoting socialist ideals.

      So a demagogue who demonises minorities is ok as long as he’s pro-business? Is that your message?

      Screw. That.

  3. elle says:

    Most of the sources of this article are from the very msm who are dishonest democrats always having negative comments about Trump.
    T D B never fails to make nasty comments about Trump,and most of the info comes from the dishonest media.Trump is going to upset staff who dont like his ideas,he is a new broom sweeping clean not a politically correct president, he will change things he thinks are wrong. The democrats are acting like spoilt brats who cant believe he won ,but win he did and so far he is doing more for the country than the democrats did in all the years they were in power., Just be glad america didnt put Hillary Clinton in power,she thought the election was bought for her because she certainly didnt work to achieve it, the MSM got that wrong in
    promoting her. The popular vote she claims were (the ones not illegal)in her favour were in Califonia and New York, both known democratic states,if she had won on popular vote America would be controlled by those two states to the detriment of all other states.
    Trump is a rough diamond, but he will fix America for the people not the swamp dwelling cabals who are behind Clinton,George Soros was the one behind her,hoping he would control America to suit himself,Soros is behind the protests,his rage knew no bounds when he had lost control and has and still is spending millions on trying to put Trump down.The MSM is democratic ,not impartial at all.

    • Oh, so the media are now “dishonest”?

      Would that be the same media that Trump exploited to gain ascendancy in the Republican Party?

      Don’t forget that it was Trump that demanded Flynn’s resignation, not the media.

      I don’t hear much “Lock him up, Lock him up!” from Trump’s critics. (Yet.)

      “Trump is a rough diamond, but he will fix America for the people not the swamp dwelling cabals who are behind Clinton,George Soros”

      Trump seems to have promoted an awful lot of right-wingers, Wall Street capitalists, Republicans, etc, to his Cabinet. So what was that about “draining the swamp”?

      As for “fixing America”, I seem to recall a certain German who promised the same thing for his country in the 1930s. The person in question said he would leave Germany unrecognisable.

      Come 1945, he was proven correct.

  4. jax says:

    This reads like a regurgitated collection of MSM news and your references
    support it. The Trump analogy with Hitler is old and hysterical Frank.

    Trump and Russia appear to be TDB’s favourite whipping boys.

  5. Historian pete says:

    Dear Frank,A competition about which U.S President should be called Hitler? Let me see! Bill Clinton reneged on the agreement to not advance US forces and Nato countries to Russia”s borders,He arranged the bombing of Serbia in a U.S hegamony/regime change operation.,and He bombed 2 African countries.George Bush invaded illegally Afghanistan,and Irak.Obama invaded Libya and aided and abetted the genocide in Yemen.,plus attempting to carry out the usual regime change trick in Syria.And of course becoming the drone assassinator king.All three manipulated the news media with their propaganda in a way that would make Goebbles proud.What we can all agree on however is Hillary for the ” Eva Braun” award!

  6. Pete says:

    Proof here again that you can’t say anything about Hitler, or Germany in the ’30s without idiotic things being said.

    Saying “The Trump analogy with Hitler is old and hysterical” is old and hysterical. A school principal in Southland made the mistake of using “Hitler” and comparing the Minister’s attitude. The mistake wasn’t the comparison, that was appropriate. The mistake was not expecting the insane, hysterical response.

    The comparison was proved reasonable when the Ministry Gestapo hunted the principal down.

    Trump might appear to be TDB’s favourite whipping boy. And the surprise about that? In some places Obama is the favourite whipping boy. No surprise.

    Expect Trump to be whipped some more when he acts in bizarre ways. In some places it’s called accountability. I wonder if there’d been a bit of whipping along the way some of the financial problems of his companies would not have happened.

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