Yes, Trump legally can fire the bastards

We all know that Trump loves firing people who are no damned good, and that giving effect to his program requires firing a whole bunch of civil servants.

From time to time the pious say that this shows that Trump has no understanding of how government works.  The president cannot fire people.

Someone who may not be named drew my attention to Myers v. United States a much ignored but never overruled Supreme Court decision that the president can fire any federal government employee he damn well pleases for any reason or no reason at all, and that any law restricting his power to do so is unconstitutional.

Actually firing people is still going to resemble a military self coup, but at least this makes the self coup clearly legitimate, a restoration of presidential authority that has been unlawfully and unconstitutionally usurped by the president’s overly numerous and overly powerful servants.

Actually firing people is likely to result in Trump becoming God Emperor after the style of Augustus or King by the Grace of God after the style of King George the third, because the powers his dangerously powerful servants have usurped from the people and the states then fall into his hands, but at least this Supreme Court decision gives firing people the plausible appearance of a constitutional restoration of the Old Republic, making the loyalty and obedience of the military easier to maintain during the purge.

22 Responses to “Yes, Trump legally can fire the bastards”

  1. Samuel Nock says:

    “The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America.”

    Article II, Section 1, 1st clause. It doesn’t get more unambiguous than that. Myers merely confirmed the obvious.

    • jim says:

      Yes, Trump simply wants to exercise executive power over the presidency. He is an executive. He is good at it. It is what executive meant then, and what it means now.

      Of course now the presidency has swallowed up all the powers that used to belong to the people and the states, so exercising executive power over the presidency is likely to get interesting, as in the Chinese curse “May you live in interesting times”.

      • Samuel Nock says:

        Completely agree. The reason why this is so important is that people have gotten used to an entrenched bureaucracy, that in effect _never_ changes regardless of who is in office. And The Establishment has for a long time spun it so that any attempt to change that entrenched bureaucracy is seen as “politicizing” things, whereas in fact it is simply the carrying out of the executive function, no more no less.

        The recent articles at Claremont by the writer going by the handle Publius Decius Mus has made this point forcefully in a recent piece, quoted at length below:

        “Suffice to say here, the current governing arrangement of the United States is rule by a transnational managerial class in conjunction with the administrative state. To the extent that the parties are adversarial at the national level, it is merely to determine who gets to run the administrative state for four years. Challenging the administrative state is out of the question. The Democrats are united on this point. The Republicans are at least nominally divided. But those nominally opposed (to the extent that they even understand the problem, which is: not much) are unwilling or unable to actually do anything about it. Are challenges to the administrative state allowed only if they are guaranteed to be ineffectual? If so, the current conservative movement is tailor-made for the task. Meanwhile, the much stronger Ryan wing of the Party actively abets the administrative state and works to further the managerial class agenda. Trump is the first candidate since Reagan to threaten this arrangement.”

        http://www.claremont.org/crb/basicpage/restatement-on-flight-93/

        http://www.claremont.org/crb/basicpage/the-flight-93-election/

        This view was also an important component of Moldbug’s thought. It is key to Burnham and Francis as well. (See the just-released “Leviathan and Its Enemies”)

  2. Alan J. Perrick says:

    The king is usually the commander in chief, and so is the United States’ president.

    A.J.P.

  3. JRM says:

    @ jim: Did you write anything on the “purge” of the military under Obama?

    Just Googling “generals who resigned under Obama” gets many hits; of course, not all resigned…many were forced out or fired.

    The lists I’ve seen number quite a few names…I couldn’t locate one single authoritative source that was up-to-date through 2016.

    A turn-over of this dimension amounts to something of a coup in itself, don’t you think?

  4. Of course, it’s anybody’s guess whether the current Supreme Court would actually uphold that precedent today, especially if it’s Trump doing the firing. You may be amazed to find out just how many things are protected by the Equal Protection Clause, the penumbras and emanations therefrom, or something equally outlandish.

    • E. William Brown says:

      They aren’t likely to try that with someone like Trump in office, simply because they have no means of enforcing such a decision. A sitting president can’t be fined, arrested or otherwise impeded by officers of the court, and only Congress has the power to consider impeachment. By the time such a case could even come before the Supreme Court Trump will have had a year or two to cement his control, and at that point it would be foolish to think that his subordinates will obey the court’s instructions over his. So most likely the court would refuse to hear such a case, in order to avoid the embarrassment of being ignored.

      • jim says:

        In Australia, the illegal immigration issue resulted in a great many courts suffering the embarrassment of being ignored.

        • I will grant you that if they actually get fired, and the court is considering the question a year afterwards when it’s a fait accompli, then this analysis seems quite likely.

          But the other possibility is that Trump declares someone fired, and their civil servant boss refuses to implement it, saying Trump doesn’t have the authority. Or the whole department immediately implement a government shutdown in the most disruptive way possible, like the National Parks Service shutting down Yosemite at the first hint of 2% budget cuts.

          If a lawsuit got filed in the context of that, such as seeking a declaration that the action was unconstitutional, it’s not nearly so obvious to me what the Court would decide.

          • Dan Kurt says:

            Didn’t Reagan fire the Air Traffic Controllers by fiat with no problem?

            Dan Kurt

          • pdimov says:

            “But the other possibility is that Trump declares someone fired, and their civil servant boss refuses to implement it, saying Trump doesn’t have the authority.”

            Well then Trump fires the boss.

          • jim says:

            Everything actually useful in the national parks is done by private sector for profit contractors who have to be forced by government cops to shut down. Trump has an impressive ability to get the men with guns on his side. Some paper pusher declares a shutdown, and insists on the men with guns implementing it. Trump tells the men with guns that the paper pusher is fired, and they should show the paper pusher the door.

            It looks to me that Trump has been working for years on building bridges to the praetorians.

            • bob k. mando says:

              But the other possibility is that Trump declares someone fired, and their civil servant boss refuses to implement it, saying Trump doesn’t have the authority. Or the whole department immediately implement a government shutdown in the most disruptive way possible, like the National Parks Service shutting down Yosemite at the first hint of 2% budget cuts.

              you’re harkening back to the National Park shut downs when the Republicans were fighting Obama over the budget.

              you have to remember, those Park shut downs were ORDERED BY Obama, that didn’t happen on individual initiative of dept heads.

              further, you appear not to have noticed what jim just told you: the President has the absolute right to fire ANY member of the Executive branch that he pleases. that is not something which Congress has the power to review.

              just as Lincoln sacked a popular general ( McClellan ) because he would not fight, any president can fire any REMF he wants.

              that was actually the basis of the Clinton Travel Office scandal; Bill could have summarily fired any or all members of the Travel Office staff and there would have been barely a peep.

              instead, Hillary falsified charges against various people in the TO and tried to have them convicted and jailed.

              which act, alone, should have gotten her disbarred and permanently prohibited her from holding any public office, much less getting a security clearance.

            • Rhetocrates says:

              I think it’s simpler than that.

              The sort of person who becomes a high bureaucratic muckety-muck is the sort of person who enjoys fucking with things while never being put on the spot about their decisions.

              Standing up to Trump involves being put on the spot about your decisions. It requires the personal or corporate loyalty of your underlings. It requires being the sort of person who will use the pronoun “I” instead of “we” or “they.”

              Bureaucrats are not those sorts of people.

              If Trump actually decides to take the bureaucracy in hand, and manages to bull past the actual guardians keeping the machine running, the bureaucrats themselves will fold like so many houses of cards and thank Trump for the privilege.

  5. Cavalier says:

    I suspect Trump has been toying with the idea of taking command for nigh on thirty-five years. I’m convinced he has been seriously plotting for the past 15-ish. I think he made his catchphrase “you’re fired” for this reason.

    Too many stars are aligning, too coincidentally, for the [current year] to be anything other than the well-oiled execution of much well-laid preparation.

    • Dan Kurt says:

      You must think he has the 156 IQ that he is said to have. Sort of like Jim, no?

      Dan Kurt

      • Cavalier says:

        I don’t know how smart he is, but I know he’s really, really smart. When I watched his announcement speech 3 days after he made it, I knew virtually nothing about him, but I knew he would win. For the next 8 months or so I followed his campaign extremely closely, watched many dozens of speeches and dozens of interviews and call-ins. The last few months less so, but still nothing he has said or done has disproven my initial assessment.

        That’s not to say that Trump is a savior or Caesar-to-be, though I hope for a patriarchy-ascendant Trumpenreich. I have no idea what he will or won’t do in office, but I do know that where the media sees chaos, confusion, and buffoonery, I see pure, unadulterated genius.

  6. Doug says:

    I have a theory regarding the never Trumpers and the forked tongue fence sitters who typically say Trump is the next nationalistic strong man, that he could be a corrective factor in these here dis-united states, but he isn’t fit to be president. What a fucking load of crap.
    It isn’t Trumps “fitness”, anybody can be, and anybody has the ability, and the right to be president, they forget themselves saying otherwise, this is a republic of will of the governed, it is a double standard of epic proportions. I don’t give a rats ass what you say otherwise. A natural born cultural marxist red diaper baby and black race supremacist was elected, twice, and hey you fucking numbnuts, how’s that worked out so far? Besides, if “fitness” to be president was an issue worth more than a bucket of warm spit, the Vagina Too Big Too Fail would have been disqualified in the democratic party primaries already.
    It isn’t Donald Trump’s fitness that is in question here, nor the psychopath in an oven mitt, it is the fitness of those who denigrate and poo poo the likes of Donald Trump and his Deplorables to be Americans to begin with. In a nut shell they are afraid, cowards to a man, true chicken shits who are scared of having to do the hard things, like fight for what is right, to stand up against the status quo and it’s collectivist class, truly, make America back into the great place it was and can be. They are afraid of things like defiance, resistance to tyranny, Lord forbid the idea of revolution is spoken, and Secession and Abolition of the federal leviathan, it’s apostasy. Hey you mental fucking midgets, how do you think this republic happened in the first place? They are the worst kind of enemy of freedom and liberty there is, worse than the likes of obama and his ilk, they outnumber the musloids by the millions, they are the resistance is futile crowd.
    Makes me sick, I want to gag.
    What a collectivist bunch of losers in their own class.
    They are the totalitarians creeping around among us.

  7. Gladio says:

    Some interesting comments from Gingrich in here:
    http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/09/26/president-trumps-first-term

    “Getting permission to fire corrupt, incompetent, and dishonest workers—that’s the absolute showdown,” Gingrich said. He assumes that federal employees’ unions would resist, thus producing, in his words, an “ongoing war” similar to the conflict that engulfed Madison, Wisconsin, in 2011, when Governor Scott Walker moved to limit public-sector employees’ collective-bargaining rights. After five months of protests, and a failed effort to recall the Governor and members of the state senate, Walker largely prevailed. Gingrich predicts that that chaotic dynamic can be brought to Washington. “You have to end the civil-service permanent employment,” he said. “You start changing that and the public-employee unions will just come unglued.”

  8. Alrenous says:

    Public perception is that POTUS can fire the bastards. Even if it weren’t legal, Trump would have immense leverage simply by publicly stating he’d like to fire some bastards, thereby letting the public backstage, as it were.

    To synecdoche…the bureaucracy can bow, and build Trump’s wall. This is the only way to preserve democracy, but of course as per Stephen Molyneux, it will destroy the Demobrats as they’re currently constituted. So, odds of that happening…

    The bureaucracy can try to stymie Trump’s wall, and succeed. This will destroy democracy – the public inevitably gets backstage and learns POTUS is an actor, not even a scriptwriter, let alone producer or executive.

    The bureaucracy can try to stymie Trump’s wall, and Trump will attempt to fire them. This dilemma works out the same as above.

    If Trump fires those he wants to fire, it will gut the government, and due to chaos = delta(power), lead to great chaos, destroying democracy in America.

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