May 02, 2007
Destroying the Government
Career people at the federal Department of Education saw the student loan payola scandal coming in the late 1990’s, and the Clinton Administration bequeathed to Bush a sensible plan to deal with the problem. Result? Plan killed. Career personnel muzzled. Large financial supporters placated.
This of course is a matched set with the U.S. Attorney scandal: both are a result of W’s fundamental belief that career civil servants are the enemy, and must be stopped before they enforce the law again. These two matters have come to light recently; somewhat longer ago, we can recall the number of brave diplomats and other government functionaries who quit their jobs to protest the run-up to the Iraq war; we can only imagine the thousands of other instances, in every unexplored nook and unknown cranny of the vast federal castle, in which good public servants have been squelched.
Posted by Wayne Uff at May 02, 2007 10:56 PM
The same thing and for pretty much the same reason happened during the Vietnam war. We lost a whole generation of our best people in government, civil and military. They left disgusted or they were marginalized by the careerists suckups. So naturally the lessons of that war weren't learned by the chickenhawks who stayed home, and the brown nosers who stayed in and got promoted. Cheney and Bush on the one hand and Powell and Franks on the other.
In light of David Halberstam's recent death, remember his best known book, "The Best and the Brightest," about the geniuses who got us into the Vietnam quagmire? If he were doing it today, he'd probably call it "The Worst and the Dumbest." But the interesting thing is that both groups wound up in the same horrible kind of mess. Is it just possible that we keep doing the same awful things not because of awful leaders, but because of ourselves, the people being led? If we get "led" into war whether the leaders are smart or dumb, could it just be that it's because we love wars and these guys are only joining the parade, not leading it?
Just a thought.
I'm no supporter of bureaucrats, they make my teeth bleed, but they know their jobs and the system.
The first thing a new administration has to do is bring back these fine employees and oust the incompetent people Bush has replaced them with.