Donald Trump

Trump, Twitter, and the Revolt of the Permanent Government

Trump rose to power on tweets; maybe tweets will take him down too.

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After Trump's transition team apparently issued what members of the federal bureaucracy think of as "gag orders," I predicted the result would be that Trump Makes Government Leaks Great Again! Not with any especially great perspicacity, I also noted that the Obama administration was, for the most part, able to keep unflattering leaks to a minimum largely because the bulk of the federal workforce was simpatico with its policies. This is unlikely to be the case with the Trump administration. Well, that didn't take long.

The first revolt began with some tweets about climate change from someone evidently associated with Badlands National Park aimed at contradicting Trump's earlier assertions that man-made global warming is a "hoax." It turns out that Trump is not the only person who knows how to tweet. A veritable flood of anonymous alternative Twitter feeds are tweeting their defiance of the incoming Trump Administration with handles like @RogueNASA, @AltForestService, @altUSEPA, @Altnatparkser, @Alt_FDA, @ActualEPAFacts, @Alt_NIH, @Alt_CDC, and @BadHombreNPS.

The creation of these feeds may, of course, be just a momentary spasm expressing bureaucratic displeasure and will go fallow over time. While these alternative feeds can keep the public apprised of what the bureaucracy sees as the nefarious machinations of Trump and his minions, they are no substitute for real transparency in government. As I earlier noted, with exception perhaps of some minor amount of national security intelligence, there is no good reason that any information, data, studies, and reports that federal agencies produce should be kept from the public and press. In any case, I will be following the Alt_Bureaucracy feeds for a while.

Trump rose to power on tweets; maybe tweets will take him down too.