Trump/Pence Regime:
Retooling the Governing Apparatus to Enthusiastically Serve Full-out Fascist Rule



Editors' Note: We aim to keep readers informed about key dimensions of the overall fascist advance of the Trump-Pence regime in a timely way, driving home the urgency of ousting this regime.

Since taking office, the Trump/Pence regime has been reshaping the personnel, structures, and relationships by which the U.S. has been ruled. Here are just two recent outrageous examples.

Bringing Local Law Enforcement Under Federal Authority

In July, the regime launched Operation Diligent Valor, inserting federal law enforcement agencies loyal to Trump into Portland, Oregon, and other cities, against the wishes of local mayors and governors. These agents worked directly with local pigs—effectively bypassing local civilian authority—to suppress anti-racism protests. This was quickly followed up by Operation Legend in nine other cities, targeting Black and Latino communities.

On August 26, Trump did it again, announcing the dispatch of 200 federal agents to Kenosha, Wisconsin, to “restore LAW and ORDER” (i.e., to suppress protests), over the opposition of the mayor and the governor.

Then on September 2, Trump issued an Executive Order directing Attorney General William Barr to identify “anarchist jurisdictions” that supposedly “permitted violence and the destruction of property”—and then to find ways to slash federal funds to those cities, which have Democratic mayors. He is extorting these cities to submit to his increasingly direct control of local authority.

Purging “Unreliable” Elements and Installing Trump Loyalists

Trump went through four heads of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)—which controls the Border Patrol, ICE, and other repressive agencies—seeking “the one” who would carry out the fascist agenda without hesitation. In November 2019, he appointed Chad Wolf as his fifth, naming him Acting Secretary. Wolf then appointed Ken Cuccinelli as his Deputy Secretary in charge of immigration policy.

Wolf prides himself on unquestioningly implementing whatever Trump wants. He is an early architect of the policy of tearing refugee children from their parents and a big proponent of Trump’s border “wall.” Cuccinelli is a hard-core Christian fascist, openly anti-gay and viciously anti-immigrant. (He wants to strip citizenship from people born in the U.S. of immigrant parents and impose “English only” rules on workplaces.)

In March 2020, the Government Accountability Office ruled that the Wolf and Cuccinelli appointments were violations of the Federal Vacancies Reform Act. Trump not only disregarded this ruling, he went on to announce the nomination of Wolf to be permanent Secretary of DHS.

Another example: On August 31, Barr announced the ouster of Brad Wiegmann, who for the last 10 years headed the Justice Department’s Office of Law and Policy. This little-known office plays a critical role: it is charged with determining whether proposed executive actions are legal or not. It oversees the legality of FBI surveillance and of domestic and foreign “counter-terrorism” operations—in a period when collaboration between the Trump regime and both foreign agencies (e.g., Russia) and “domestic terrorists” (e.g., militias being called out into the streets to attack protesters and potentially to intimidate voters) may be crucial to the regime’s struggle to hold onto and consolidate power.

Wiegmann is a career official described as “the ideal public servant: always the smartest person in the room, completely apolitical and adored by his colleagues.” In other words, someone who is unlikely to let illegal acts slide and who has the stature to stand up to Trump and Barr. This makes him a potential choke-point for the fascist agenda at a decisive moment.

Wiegmann’s replacement is Kellen Dwyer, a political appointee with little relevant experience. But Dwyer does have a good Christian fascist résumé; he was a “fellow” at the Leonine Forum, a conservative Catholic group that is training “virtuous leadership ... committed to integrating [“the Social Teachings of the Church”] within their professional and civic lives.”

To boil it down, a potential key obstacle to Trump’s criminal agenda, including sabotaging or stealing the election, has been swapped out for a right-wing Christian activist who likely lacks the inclination, experience, or stature to stand up to whatever Trump and Barr insist on.


The objective of all this: the subordination of the entire machinery of state power—courts, executive branch, military, law enforcement, Congress, state and local governments—to the fascist agenda, and manning that apparatus with reliable Trump loyalists.

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Wolf/Barr PurgeChad Wolf, newly appointed secretary of Department of Homeland Security with Attorney General Barr. Wolf prides himself on unquestioningly implementing whatever Trump wants.




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