By now, the Trump transition team has promised that it has “properly counseled” the staffer who asked for names of people involved in certain of the Environmental Protection Agency’s activities, but it remains a telling incident:
The official said questions about professional society memberships and websites that staff at the Energy Department’s national laboratories maintain or contribute to could raise questions about Trump’s commitment to scientific independence – a fundamental tenet at the agency. …
Democrats have called the questionnaire a modern-day political witch hunt that could have a chilling impact on federal workers.
Gee. If anything, that sounds less aggressive and presumptuous than the Obama administration’s treatment of Tea Party groups in the run-up to his reelection campaign. The main difference: Those were private citizens being harassed by the IRS on the president’s behalf. If there’s any harassment with the EPA request, it’s the people’s elected president harassing out-of-control agencies. That’s kind of how representative democracy ought to work.