It’s not uncommon that one of the first things for a new president to do is fire or replace staff members hired by or who have ties to the former administration, particularly if the two national leaders are of differing political parties or opinions. Therefore, it wasn’t surprising in the least when White House staffers like former press secretary Kayleigh McEnany or Trump’s chief of staff were replaced with more liberal counterparts.
However, it’s non-traditional or against the norm to replace those in some positions.
Take the board members for the service academies like the US Naval Academy or West Point Academy, for example. These positions, while president appointed, usually cross administrations, particularly because they are held for at least one three-year term. Additionally, as these individuals serve our military on nonpolitical matters, their positions are not political and usually not controversial.
However, it seems that Biden is making them so now.
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As of Wednesday, no less than 18 Trump “lawmakers and presidential appointees” were sent a letter from Biden’s director of the White House Office of Presidential Personnel demanding their resignation or else. If recipients of the letter had not handed in their resignation to her office by 6 pm that same day, they would be dismissed and their employment terminated.
Here’s the letter Russell Vaught, a current board member for the US Naval Academy and former director of White House Office of Management and Budget under Trump, received.
And as you can see, Vaught isn’t handling his forced resignation lightly or hesitantly.
Like most others who received the letter, he is refusing to resign – although several others have responded a bit more vehemently.
Take Kellyanne Conway, for instance.
In her response, she penned a letter to none other than Democratic President Joe Biden. She noted that not only was this move a complete “break from presidential norms” but rather “petty and political, if not personal.” She reminded him that such a partisan decision would do little else but politicize and polarize our service academies.
However, she did say that she understood why he did it, as he obviously needs “to distract from a news cycle that has you mired in multiple self-inflicted crises and plummeting poll numbers.” Then, she took another jab, saying she had been honored to serve under Trump, a president “whose actions resulted in the deaths of terrorists,” while Biden’s actions thus far have killed 13 US heroes.
To summarize, she said, “I’m not resigning, but you should.”
Another Trump-appointed Naval Academy board member, Sean Spicer, pointed out on his Newsmax show that the move was both “unprecedented” and proof that the current administration didn’t have their priorities in line. Instead of focusing on problems like COVID, Afghanistan, and Hurricane Ida, Biden and staff were instead sending delegates to CA to campaign for liberal Governor Gavin Newsom and “firing veterans.”
He added that these boards “have been free from politics and worked in a bipartisan way until today. This administration made them political. Not one Obama appointee on these boards was removed when Trump came in. Not a single one. This move has taken partisanship to a new level.”
And he’s not wrong.
I mean, when you hear or read titles like former vice chief of staff of the United States Army and Presidential Medal Freedom recipient retired American four-star Army General Jack Keane, former Pentagon official and retired Army Colonel Douglas Macgregor, retired Army Captain Meaghan Mobbs, or former Secretary of the Air Force, you aren’t thinking politics, are you?
You think of the tried and true experiences. These are men and women who have proved themselves over a lifetime of service to our country. They’ve made the right decisions, leading countless others into battle and coming out victorious. And now, even though quite a few are retired, they continue to serve by teaching the next generation and training them to hold the same values that have kept America free.
And yet, because they were appointed due to that experience and service by Trump, Biden sees them as somehow unworthy of serving him. In fact, according to WH press secretary Jen Psaki, their service to America during Trump’s time has left them “unqualified” and not “aligned with the values of this administration.”
But Biden and his staff think this isn’t a political move… Yeah, right.