As a celebrity, as opposed to his days as a real estate developer, Donald Trump marked his brand with a simple phrase: “You’re fired.”
However, as president, when Trump directed those words toward his department heads and other subordinates within the executive branch, liberals melted down. They argued that Trump was getting rid of people – such as a handful of inspectors general — who simply hold him accountable just to protect his political interests.
But with a new Democratic president, we have a new attitude.
Now, liberals appear to be fine with the chief executive dumping government officials simply for politics. You know this because the media have not made Peter Robb and Alice Stock household names.
Biden campaigned on a theme to restore and abide by the governmental “norms” that Trump had allegedly trashed as president – that is, to run the government as the career politicians, like Biden, and the bureaucrats see fit, and in some instances without regard to the Constitution or the president’s policy desires.
But within his first two days on the job, Biden, acting like a boss with a chip on his shoulder, fired the top lawyers at the National Labor Relations Board – moves that were dubbed unprecedented.
Just minutes after taking office on Wednesday, Biden fired Robb; the NLRB appointed general counsel. The next day, he fired Stock, who was Robb’s replacement.
The board exists to adjudicate disputes between employers and organized labor. During its 85 years, the board has been viewed as pro-union. But the federal law that created it says it exists to protect “the legitimate rights of both employees and employers in their relations affecting commerce.”
The general counsel offers the board legal advice. It’s a job that comes with a four-year appointment.
Robb had 10 months left in his term. Yet, for many on the left, Robb was too zealous in promoting those rights for employers and workers who did not want to part of unions. So, Biden, an unabashed supporter of unions, sought to oust him. When Robb refused to go voluntarily, Biden fired him.
According to the Washington Free Beacon, Robb, in a letter to the White House, called the move “unprecedented” and “an unfortunate precedent for this country’s labor relations” y interfering in the agency’s functions.
“It was my understanding that the incoming administration intended to foster civility and unity in this country and the governing of this country, promising to adhere to the rule of law and enabling its chief law enforcement officers the independence, free from White House interference, to enforce the laws of the United States,” Robb added in the letter.
“A presidential removal of the NLRB’s General Counsel prior to the expiration of his or her term violates these promises and principles.”
In a statement to the Free Beacon, Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, also called Robb’s firing “unprecedented” and represented “the very opposite of a return to ‘normal’ and a disturbing sign of just how far the Biden-Harris Administration is willing to go to pay back the union bosses that helped put Biden in the White House.”
“The reason Big Labor officials are so eager to oust Robb is that he has frequently defended the rights of rank-and-file workers who are the targets of union coercion.”
Stock, Robb’s No. 2, was elevated to the top job. But by the end of Day 2 of the Biden administration, she, too, was gone.
Stock was fired after refusing to resign.
“Given the dubious legality of the January 20, 2021 removal of Mr. Robb as General Counsel of the NLRB … it would be detrimental to the operations of the NLRB for me to resign my position,” Stock wrote in her own letter.
“The events of yesterday — the abrupt and unceremonious removal of General Counsel Robb — are unfortunate for our country and to those who believed that this administration intended to follow the traditions and rules of law in our democracy.”
I would have expected a more civil and professional approach to the transition from this administration,” Stock added.
After Robb was terminated, Rep. Virginia Foxx, R-N.C., the ranking Republican on the House Education and Labor Committee, noted Biden’s “continuous calls for unity and civil discourse upon taking his oath of office are already proving to be empty aspirations. The Biden administration appears to be rewarding their friends in Big Labor.”
And in that cause, the smashing of norms that were abhorrent when Trump held the ax is now to be applauded.
Lefty columnist Mark Joseph Stern, writing at Slate, noted that Robb and Stock – like the people Trump fired, it’s worth adding – served at the pleasure of the president.
“They had no guarantee against termination without just cause. Biden did not violate any laws,” Stern wrote. “He simply gave the nation’s chief union busters a taste of their own medicine.”