The holiday season found Washington largely emptied of its busybodies; the bureaucracies ticked along quietly with the high absentee rate customary at that time of year. No one back home noticed the difference. I have always thought that that is why federal employees are not allowed to strike. Some wise old heads at the Civil Service Commission, or some such place, put their wise old heads together and said to one another: If we were to strike, no one would be any the wiser, or any the poorer, while for others life might actually be greatly simplified; therefore, let us not go on strike.
By way of compensation, however, the wise old heads said to one another: We shall pay ourselves at an ample rate of remuneration, and—because we do not wish to be sullied with the contamination of "politics"—we shall make it very difficult for any of our number to be fired. So, in the fullness of time, these things came to pass.