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The Trump Purges


In the hell after 11/8, a date equivalent to 9/11 as a national disaster, my thoughts revolved around a longer time frame, in the sense that I realized that the Obama administration was probably going to be the peak of American politics in my life time because Trump is going to bork the nation up so badly that it will decades to recover, if we really can. In most of 2017, I wasn’t actually that depressed because Trump was so incompetent that the whole of the year was slightly less terrible than I expected. 2018 however, has been an utter disaster for the nation, now that Trump has eliminated anyone who might ever hold him back and is now governing like a coke fiend on a multi-decade bender. And of course, it’s become so much worse in the last month or so. Anyway, when reading about Trump loyalists attempting to purge the State Department of anyone who doesn’t support the Dear Leader, I am reminded that the recovery time for all of this probably really is decades, and that’s assuming future Republican administrations aren’t Trumpist, which they probably will be.

Mari Stull, a former food and beverage lobbyist-turned-wine blogger under the name “Vino Vixen,” has reviewed the social media pages of State Department staffers for signs of ideological deviation. She has researched the names of government officials to determine whether they signed off on Obama-era policies — though signing off does not mean officials personally endorsed them but merely cleared them through the bureaucratic chain. And she has inquired about Americans employed by international agencies, including the World Health Organization and the United Nations, asking their colleagues when they were hired and by whom, according the officials.

Well, at least they are only hiring the best people for this work.

“She is actively making lists and gathering intel,” said one of the sources, a senior diplomat. Stull was named in April as a senior advisor to the State Department’s Bureau of International Organization Affairs, which manages U.S. diplomatic relations with the United Nations and other international institutions.

Her probing, along with a highly secretive management style, has become so uncomfortable that at least three senior officials are poised to leave the bureau, according to the sources. Officials there have warned some Americans employed by the U.N. to sidestep traditional meet-and-greet sessions with the department’s upper management to avoid drawing attention to themselves.

“She is gunning for American citizens in the U.N. to see if they are toeing the line,” the diplomatic source added.

Stull seems to have the support of her boss, Kevin Moley, who was appointed by the White House in January to head the bureau with the title of assistant secretary of state for international organizational affairs.

Stull cheered his appointment on Twitter at the time, proclaiming the “Global swamp will be drained.”

But over time, she has emerged as the most dominant force in the department. One diplomat said she seemed to outrank Moley in influence.

I look forward to the next Democratic president hiring a food blogger to purge Republicans from government. Presumably, one qualification will be that said blogger hates ketchup, thus putting me in the running.

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