Truth and competence clearly terrify Donald Trump

President Trump
 has attacked ambassador William Taylor, a very experienced and respected professional member of the U.S. foreign service, for presenting the facts as he saw them in Ukraine to the House committee conducting the preliminary impeachment investigation.

Trump accepted Taylor as acting ambassador to Ukraine but is now smearing him as a “Never Trumper” without providing any evidence to support his claim.

I know Taylor, a Vietnam veteran. He is anything but a political hack, as the president claims. I do not know ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, whom Trump earlier ousted as ambassador to Ukraine, but I do know that she is a respected, experienced and capable American diplomat. Taylor and Yovanovitch understand vastly more about U.S. diplomacy and national security than this president, who appears to know much more about stiff hairspray options than foreign policy.

These attacks on professional career members of the federal government are an outrage and a real threat to rule of law in the nation. These professionals have shown the courage to see wrongdoing and expose it. They raised their concerns inside the government without effect and then reported them through a legal process of congressional testimony and whistleblower reports. Those accused of improper behavior hate credible whistleblowers; those who oppose corruption and mismanagement in government see great value in them.

The president’s personal attack on a career professional falls in line with the wacky right-wing theory — again without evidence — that a “deep state” opposition to Trump exists among career federal employees.

Career government employees are restricted by law and regulation in the participation in many political activities. Like every American, they have personal political views, but a career civil service employee will destroy his or her career if he or she becomes an active political zealot for one political party at the expense of responsibilities to support the legal policies of the elected officials. Can an individual employee go politically rogue? Sure, but a broad conspiracy against the president is a fantasy. Unfortunately, many Americans believe the conspiracy nonsense being promoted by Republicans in Congress, right-wing television and radio pundits, and Russian internet trolls.

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