It’s standard practice for U.S. government officials to have a picture of the president and the vice president on their office walls. The protocol is that the president and the vice president are displayed side by side in the center of the wall, with the president on the left and the vice president on the right.
The government supplies the pictures and helpfully slots them into a frame permanently placed on the wall for that purpose. It doesn’t matter how the official feels about the president. My father couldn’t stand Richard Nixon, but Tricky Dick’s picture was ever present on my father’s office wall during his time serving the Nixon administration.
The Trump administration was late getting pictures of the president and vice president to its officials. Finally, toward the end of last year, the pictures made it to the EEOC. Government services duly slotted them into the picture frames on the office walls of the commissioners.
Around Christmas, though, Chai Feldblum had the pictures of President Trump and Vice President Pence taken down. Her wall contains two empty frames where the pictures were.
Ironically, Trump had recently renominated Feldblum for another term on the commission — a mind-boggling decision, given her strident leftism and advocacy of positions, most notably on LBGT issues, that are antithetical to the views of Trump’s base (and probably Trump himself). Feldblum repaid Trump with an act of blatant and quite possibly unprecedented disrespect.
Feldblum must be supremely confident that her confirmation by the Senate is a done deal. That’s what I’m told she’s saying to anyone at the EEOC who will listen, and she may well be right. Sen. Lamar Alexander, chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions committee that must clear Feldblum’s nomination, appears more than willing to clear it, and no Republican on the committee (members listed here) seems to have a problem with him doing so.
A few conservative Republicans in the Senate may be trying to block Feldblum’s confirmation. However, it’s not clear that they can prevent her from being rammed through as part of a very weak “package deal.” Indeed, it seems clear to Feldblum that they can’t stop her. Thus, she feels free flagrantly to violate protocol and openly to display her contempt for the U.S. president
As you can imagine, Trump is hardly revered by career employees at the EEOC. Yet, it’s my understanding that some liberal career people have expressed unhappiness with Feldblum’s gesture of profound disrespect for the president. Their unhappiness may, in part, be a function of their dismay that Feldblum, who isn’t known for treating staff well, has been renominated. Still, it’s good learn that some liberal government employees find fault with Feldblum for thumbing her nose at President Trump.
If liberal government employees can find fault with Feldblum, surely Senate conservatives should be willing to mount an aggressive campaign to stop the nomination of this ultra-liberal. Perhaps Trump himself, who famously demands loyalty and respect, will be moved to intervene.