President Donald Trump has been able to appoint legions of qualified conservative federal judges in great part thanks to the years of cultivation by the Federalist Society of potential candidates. Similarly, there have been lots of smart conservative economists available for key positions in the White House and Department of Treasury. There are even growing numbers of young, smart, capable conservative journalists who will be media giants in coming years.
But where are the legions of smart conservatives who know how to manage a Department of Housing and Urban Development or a Department of Health and Human Services, while implementing a genuinely conservative policy agenda? Such people are few and far between, according to Lyman Stone, writing today on The Federalist.
“Some administrations just make compromises: They fill positions with people who are mostly conservative or sort of conservative, or at least conservative enough. The result is an administration that is Republican, but not actually conservative,” Stone writes.
Speaking from my years in the executive branch during the Reagan administration and before that on Capitol Hill, I knowStone is hitting the bullseye. I believe he’s pointing out the conservative movement’s biggest failure.
Liberals and Democrats love government, know how to manage its expansion and fight the political battles to protect it. Conservatives, with few exceptions, have no idea how to deal with, much less manage on a day-to-day basis, career bureaucrats who are masters of the turf wars.
Stone has a fine suggestion:
“We need a Federalist Society for socially conservative federal workers, we need Masters of Public Administration/Masters of Public Policy programs staffed and funded with academics friendly to conservative programs, we need existing talent recruitment and internship programs to re-orient their curricula towards actually training people to take on the state, and we need conservative donors to put up the money to support these efforts.”
As Glenn says, just keep scrolling because Stone has much of immense value to say on these matters.