Personnel Is Policy, Is President Trump Learning That Lesson

Such a statement might sound presumptuous at first, Donald J. Trump is a fantastically successful property developer, real estate magnate, and entertainment superstar.  He knows that his success is built on hiring the right people, from the right sub-contractor to middle and upper management in his variety of enterprises.  His success is firmly built on a foundation of hiring the right employees and executives.  However, while the tropism “Personnel is policy” is the basis of political success once one is able to exercise political power, it is essentially the same as in business, hire the right people to be successful.  Whether it is an incompetent iron worker, bad lawyer, or foolish senior executive, bad employees can ruin a business.  The big difference is that in the private sector, especially in a closely held enterprise such as the Trump Organization, removing dead weight is as easy as pie, similarly easy is hiring them.  Not so with many positions in government.  Many levels of the bureaucracy are either de facto untouchable without serious effort such as the lower Federal bureaucrats, hard to remove, such as the higher Federal bureaucrats in the Senior Executive Service (SES), or impossible to get confirmed, such as Kris Kobach.  We know that President Trump was saddled with many appointees who’s only virtue was that they could be confirmed.  Some though were inexplicable choices, such as Rex Tillerson.  The only explanation for his appointment was the dearth of confirmable choices due to politics, Never Trumpers in the GOP, and a Senate closely divided with partisan Democrats.

However, in two recent instances, the power of the right people to get the job done in the area of immigration have come to the fore.  The first was fight L. Francis Cissna is waging at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to implement the Trump agenda and the second was the slow rise of Silent Jeff in the area of reforming the immigration court system after a series of failures in that area. Sometimes the right personnel work for you, but sometimes #TheResistence in the bureaucracies win.

A more recent story tells the tale of personnel is policy, at least prospectively.  Hardliners on the immigration area appear to be in President Trump’s good graces.

President Trump has nominated a staunch anti-immigration activist to head the State Department agency that oversees refugee and immigration issues.

Ronald W. Mortensen, a former U.S. Foreign Service officer and longtime fellow at the Center for Immigration Studies, which advocates against legal and illegal immigration, is Trump’s choice to be assistant secretary of State for the bureau of population, refugees and migration. The White House announced the nomination late Thursday.

[Trump Nominates Anti-Immigration Activist To Head Agency For Immigrants And Refugees, by Tracy Wilkinson, LA Times, May 25, 2018]

The shameful passive-aggressive editorializing in a supposed straight news story is shameful, but instructive for our purposes.  President Trump has realized from the failures of some of his appointments, such as Secretary Kirstjen  Nielsen, that he needs appointees loyal to him and his agenda.  He learned that go-along-to-get-along appointees such as Nielsen don’t work out in the end and fail to implement Trump’s policy.  The worst example is the failure of Nielsen to deal with the Caravan of Death To America By Demographic Displacement.

Above all, Mortensen is a nightmare for those seeking to elect a new people, he is as based as we can expect.

In February 2017, just after Trump took office, Mortensen praised his efforts to step up deportations of immigrants in the country illegally and to ban some legal arrivals. He wrote in a blog post that Trump had succeeded in destroying “the myth of the noble, law-abiding illegal alien.”

Until Trump was elected, Mortensen wrote, “the career politicians that he replaced had consistently put illegal aliens first and deliberately ignored the terrible harm done to the American men, women and children.”

Mortensen is the opposite of the #NeverTrumpers, he is a Let Trump be Trump Republican and an immigration patriot, people whom should have been appointed two years ago.  Mortensen is the new Kobach, whom we never got, but deserved.  So cheers to President Trump realizing his effort to play nice with his irredeemable opponents.  Let Trump Be Trump so we can Make America Great Again.

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