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“Have you no sense of decency, sir?” Trump Cabinet member slanders 20,000 civil servants

September 26th, 2017 · No Comments

In American politics, one of the most powerful and memorable lines from a US Civil Servant must be when the U.S. Army’s chief counsel, Joseph Nye Welch, challenged Senator Joe McCarthy at a hearing (a McCarthyite inquisition).

Let us not assassinate this lad further, Senator. You’ve done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?

And, with Welch’s direct challenge to McCarthy, “those watching the proceedings broke into applause”.

This moment in history jumped to mind on learning of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s slandering of some 20,000 Federal employees:

I got 30 percent of the crew that’s not loyal to the flag.

Yes, Secretary Zinke said that 30 percent of the 70,000 Federal employees in the Department of Interior are in violation of their Oath: in essence, asserting that they merit prosecution of disloyalty to the nation.

This sort of ’30 percent’ attack is eerily reminiscent of McCarthy’s anonymous ‘lists of commies’ and other attacks that created questions about whole blocks of civil servants, dedicated federal employees, with that slandering typically not directed at individuals (though that occurred too often as well) and without any real basis.

I wonder when and where America’s civil servants will have their chances to emulate Joseph Nye Welch in challenging such slanderous attacks on those who have dedicated their lives to serving the American people.

Zinke made these comments to an oil industry conference. As with EPA Administrator Pruitt, Team Trump is spending its time with those seeking to privatize profit while socializing costs, socializing with those seeking to ravage public lands with minimal attention to those who seek to protect them.

Truly, that ’30 percent’ comment isn’t about loyalty to the Constitution (“to the flag”) but that Zinke fears that some portion of Interior’s  civil servants (hopefully far more than 30 percent) take their Oath seriously and are loyal to the Constitution and American people, not to those occupying the Oval Office and the political appointments around the government.

 

NOTE:  Of course, Joe McCarthy’s lawyer was Roy Cohn, who organized that hearing. That is the Roy Cohn who was a mentor to Donald Trump.

 

 

 

 

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