Saturday, May 06, 2006

Over the past blah de blah years, one of the things that The Right has done is to demonize the bureaucracy and public employees. They've done a really good job of it. Ask anyone, no matter their policial leanings, and there's a good chance they'll recite the Republican party line about corrupt and incompetant bureaucrats. This is no accident.

Think back to your history class, my friends. Remember the Progressives of the early 1900s? I bet you do. One of their greatest reforms was the civil service system. Before that, cronyism and patronage was the accepted rule of the day. Talk about your corrupt incompetants! Any politican could appoint anyone they wanted to positions of power within the government. Family, friends, and contributors got high ranking jobs, and of course since they were so pleased that their good buddy/daddy gave them a job, they would do whatever it was that they wanted done. Is that necessarily in the best interests of the American people? Not hardly. Is that a good way to ensure fairness and equality among the citizenry? Nope.

Along come the progressive reformers, and they were successful in convincing the good people of the United States that the bureaucracy should be professional and independent from the politicians. What a concept! What is one of the earmarks of a corrupt government today? The executive branch directly runs the bureaucracy (as well as the military and the courts). Power becomes consolidated. Is this sounding familiar yet?

As The Radical Right has amassed and consolidated their power over the last few decades they've routinely attacked public employees. They've weakened their unions, undermined their authority and derided their professionalism. This was because they were in their way. Hello? The system was DESIGNED to get in their way. Democracy is supposed to move slower than the politicans want it to move. It's one of the things that keeps us free. No one can jump in a change things overnight.

It's like a three legged stool. If you lose a leg, and you'll tip over. There's politicians, bureaucrats and special interests. You have to have all three for the system to work as intended. We're ALL part of some "special interest" group, ya know? (Another demonized word! I'll save that for another day.)

So what I'm leading up to with all this blathering is that the demoralization and attacks on the federal bureaucracy has led us to a point where The Right has been able to consolidate their power to include the bureaucracy. Old timers and professionals have been forced or driven out, and they've put their hand picked cronies into positions of power within the bureacracy.

That's why we're going to be seeing (imo) more scandals popping out all over that link federal agencies and bureaucrats to the politicians who love them. The civil service wall has been badly breeched, and since everyone has bought the story that bureaucrats are evil, no one cared while it was happening. I hope someone who's got a bigger voice than me mentions this little factoid one of these days.


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