Wednesday, June 15, 2005

The Anti-Government President

In keeping with the fine tradition of our finest professional pundits, today's topic is something that I know little about personally and even less about professionally; making me the perfect person to talk about it.

I was avoiding my typical over-abundance of work by skimming through Yahoo News and stumbled upon a link to the Government Accountability Project's website. They're a nonprofit which promotes accountability in government and supports whistleblowers. I personally believe in both, so I was quite interested. And I saw this article titled "Special Counsel Pads His Record on Eve of Oversight Hearing," and wanted to learn more. It was all about Scott Bloch who is the U.S. Special Counsel and apparently is responsible for investigating whistleblower cases in the government or something; and will soon be giving testimony to a Senate Oversight committee or something. Now, I don't know who Scott Bloch is, what a Special Counsel does, or if he really flubbed it up; so again, I'm the exact person you want to go to for an opinion on all this.

The article says:
In recent weeks, Bloch has mounted a public relations offensive in seeking to deflect a torrent of criticism over wholesale dismissal of hundreds of whistleblower cases, gag orders he has issued to his own staff, a wave of forced resignations as part of an ill-fated effort to open a Mid-Western Field Office in Detroit, and cronyism in his hiring practices. In the past two weeks, Bloch has issued three press releases on whistleblower issues, more than the total of all such releases in the previous 15 months.

And again, I have no idea of what to think of these allegations. While I care enough to read the article and even to write about it, I don't care enough to actually research any of this, not even at GAP's own website. And by the clear standards used by our modern media, this lack of knowledge would entitle me to write a scathing column denouncing whichever side I happened to be against. Or, were I a television pundit, I could speak endlessly about how this affects Howard and Hillary in their 2008 presidential bid, or whether Bloch is responsible for any missing white women.

But I'm not a professional pundit. I'm a rank amateur. And as such, I will refrain from writing any further about this issue, and will solely focus on what I can write about: Conservatives, and why we should never ever let them have the Whitehouse again. And Bloch is just one of many examples of why that is.

Traitorous Presidents

Needless to say, Bloch was appointed by Bush. I know that, not just because it sounds like an appointed kind of position, and not just because Bloch sounds like the type of ideological incompetent Bush would appoint to an important position, but because I actually cheated and did a 5-second search on Yahoo (again, something which fully disqualifies me from professional punditry). That search also tells me that the Log Cabin Republicans want Bush to fire Bloch; and while I'm sure Bush is unlikely to follow their advice on this or any other issue, that tidbit lands outside the scope of this post, so I'll leave that alone.

And, whew, I am one long-winded SOB. I've written a ton, but haven't even gotten to my point. So I'll just get to it and leave.

Conservatives are against government. Not all government, but most government. That's not a liberal strawman or a conspiracy, it's their stated agenda. And while we generally think of the job of president as a Policy Pushing and Fighting Wars kind of thing, his main job is to run the government. But how can someone who is against government be trusted to run the government? They can't. Moreover, I think it is traitorous for anyone who is anti-government to become head of the government; especially if they gained office by hiding their anti-government agenda.

And Bush even still talks like someone who's against the government. As if he's fighting against the "fatcats in Washington", when he's the fattest cat of them all and everyone knows it. And while he talks like that because it makes great rhetoric, he really does think that way. Conservatives just can't view themselves as part of the government, even when they lead it.

And because conservatives want to do away with almost all government, they hate successful programs more than unsuccessful ones. And that is clearly at a cross-purpose with his job as Chief Executive, and should disqualify him from office. Like hiring the head of Greenpeace as CEO of Exxon or something. He might be qualified, but he's probably not going to have the company's best interests in mind.

Contrarian Ballast

Not that there's anything necessarily wrong with conservatives. I do think they're wrong, but I'm not saying they don't serve a purpose in life. Contrarians and others who go against the tide serve an important part in life, as a checks and balances kind of thing. Sometimes, it's a good idea to have a legislative body switch sides and start looking into the other side. That's one reason why gerrymandering is so bad, as it creates unnatural dynasties which cannot support themselves legitimately. So a little ideological change isn't a bad thing.

But this shouldn't apply to the Whitehouse. It's one thing for people who write the laws. But the President isn't supposed to be a partisan pushing an agenda. He's supposed to be an administrator, who runs things. And while it has never really been like that, there should be some standards to this kind of thing.

And one of those standards should be that the person primarily responsible for running the government should do so in a way that is consistent with what that government's supposed to do. Republicans complain about "activist judges" who they accuse of using judicial powers to re-write laws. But our activist president is doing that same thing. He has been using his powers as the chief government administrator to undermine the very laws he vowed to uphold. Not by outright breaking the laws, but by hiring bad people to subvert the law from the inside. Hiring non-expert lobbyists to alter expert reports. Hiring avowed war-mongers to cherry-pick government intel. And perhaps hiring anti-whistleblowers to stifle government whistleblowing.

And again, I say traitorous. This is subversion of the worst kind. McCarthy had his State Department pinkos, but what we have now is so much worse. Our President does not have the country's best interest in mind. Never once did he tell voters that he wanted to hire anti-government thugs to re-write regulations or fix problems for their former employers and clients. And even if he had, that's not his job. If conservatives want to gut government oversight, fine. Take it to the Congress. Have them re-write the laws so that we don't investigate whistleblowing, and allow partisan science and intel. And watch as the American People boot those dummies out of office faster than a bee shoots poop. That's how it's supposed to work. Not by having the Chief Executive hire incompetent partisans and corporate whores to muck up the laws that we have; while giving lip-service to the Will of the People. That isn't democracy. That is treason. And while it isn't the same as selling secrets to the enemy, on many levels it is much much worse.

Our country will never fall to an outside invader. Never. We will eat ourselves up from the inside. And one of the surest ways of achieving that is to allow an anti-government administration to secretly erode our laws and regulations. I'm sure that these people don't see themselves as villainous traitors. They think they're just looking out for themselves, and that they are. But they're screwing over the majority of Americans and undermining the democratic processes that bind us together. I normally like to end these things with some kind of rhetorical flourish that ties everything together. But fuck it. It's late and I really don't know where else to take this without making it a whole lot longer. So I'll just end it here.

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