There are a lot of hot battles to watch out for in 2017. But one of the most explosive of all may be Trump versus the bureaucracy, writes Ira Stoll. The executive branch civilian workforce numbers about 2.7 million; the uniformed military are another 1.5 million. Against that more or less permanent federal workforce of roughly 4 million people, President Trump gets to fill maybe 4,000 jobs.
The military may be used to taking orders. The civilian bureaucracy may understand, in some civics class sort of way, that its job is to serve the president in implementing the laws made by Congress. But even so, it’s a very thin layer of authority. And the civilian bureaucracy voted overwhelmingly against the president elect. These people, suggests Stoll, can make a lot of trouble for Trump in a lot of ways.