Saturday, May 11, 2013

The Politics of the Federal Government

One of the things that this week has made painfully clear is that politics can play fast and loose with the rules for political gains.  It appears that the entirety of the Federal Government has been doing what it can to "make the boss look good."  Democrat, Republican, Liberal Conservative doesn't really seem to matter.   The executive branch of the federal government (basically the operations functions) will do all they can to protect first itself, then the "boss." 

 It's not really limited to Republican or Democrat.  The government covered for Kennedy, hiding all his sordid affairs (and the piss poor way he lead the country).  There was covering on Johnson when his grand war plan for Nam (as well as the impetus for actually getting involved) turned out to be so much hot air.  They covered for Reagan, who didn't technically authorize Iran-Contra, but nonetheless used the general "any means necessary" around a few too many subordinates.  It is clear that President Obama is added to this list of people that the government is covering for.

The clearest and most obvious example is Benghazi.  Point blank, State, DoD, and the CIA screwed the pooch.  The CIA warned that security was getting less secure, which State ignored (actually they drew down the security presence), and the DoD took away a number of Special Operations personell that might have aided the beleaguered CIA annex.  Why Ambassador Stevens was even in Benghazi in the first place had to do with a strong desire by State, to make the consulate a permanent facility by a certain date.  Really the more you read about the events leading up to and surrounding the September 11th 2012 attack the more it sounds like the key stone cops. 

One thing is clear, support was denied at various levels.  State failed to support their missions.  DoD failed to send a rescue or any relief.  The CIA failed to emphasize just how acute the threat was becoming.  Had everyone come out and admitted just how badly they'd screwed up heads might've rolled Obama might not have been re-elected, but the truth would have been known, and just perhaps we might implement measures that might prevent similar occurrences.  That is not what has happened.  Cover-up or white wash, it doesn't really matter the end result is that the State Department in effect lied to the American people for political reasons. 

If it ended there that's would've been bad enough but now the IRS is admitting that they held up the 501c status of nearly 300 groups, a majority of which had "tea party" or "patriot" in the title.  The irony is that this went of for years.  Conservatives were howling about it but most everyone put it off as a right-wing conspiracy.  As late as this week the head of the IRS had a press conferance to say that these allegations were untrue.  Only they were true.  the end result was that the federal bureaucracy put pressure on a political group during an election.  Agree or disagree with the tea party, this is a very big deal. 

That the harassment was borderline illegal and it has taken years to come to light should have everyone more than a little worried.  The IRS has a lot of power, and with the stroke of a pen (or a keyboard) can wreck lives.  Worst of all once the IRS wrecks lives or potentially sways an election (I use the word potentially for a reason, I don't think Romney would have won, but it is possible).  There's no taking it back.  There's no recompense for clerical errors the federal government makes.  Personally I think we should all be more than a little worried that a clearly political action happened at an agency that should have absolutely no business in, around, or in the same zip code, as politics.

The Federal Government is sadly almost tailor made for political abuses.  It doesn't really matter the party involved, the highly politicized legislature and executive branch have allowed their personal biases and feelings to sway the operation of many branches of our government.  The "boss" is often given undue deference, and in the case of "popular" or "historic" presidents, there are whole offices that are willing to blatantly break laws on "the boss's" behalf.  Regardless of party affiliation, or of political ideology, both the legislature and executive branches should always be on guard for governmental functions that are not strictly apolitical.  The function of the government in America is to do what We the People tell it to do through our duly elected representatives.  The second the machinery starts playing favorites, the Government stops being a servant of the people and starts becoming a menace to them. 

No comments: