Come for the Politics, Stay for the Pathologies

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Big, Bigger, Biggest: Why Government Just Doesn’t Work

Here is the one thing the BP oil spill has proven for sure: government can’t handle disasters. Not Hurricanes, not floods, not gargantuan oil spills. Neither Republican governments, nor Democratic governments. We have developed a bureaucracy that’s designed to sustain itself rather than be responsive:  to either citizens or crises. By it’s nature and structure government has become too big, too unwieldy and too self-interested to be either efficient or effective. That’s the central message the Tea Party is  trying to impart to a citizenry that seems to have acquiesced to this waste and inefficiency.

Now it is laid bare: government has become nearly as incompetent at the large and important things as it is at the mundane. One of the reasons is that every bureau, department and division acts like its own principality. It establishes it’s own domain (funded by your tax dollars), usually by declaring their mission to be everything but what they were originally chartered to do. No one wants to do their job, they want to do your job; it makes them more important, more irreplaceable,  a better roadblock, harder to ignore, impossible to eliminate: mission accomplished. Welcome to the birth of the ministry of dysfunction.

And yet, people always seem surprised at government’s impotence. So they blame the head of state, which is fine with me, but they miss the core of the problem which is too much government on every level. Nevertheless, it’s entertaining to watch the previous Obamabites quickly pile the blame on their guy. Take Maureen Dowd for example – now suspended in a state of perpetual surprise that we elected a self-absorbed light weight –  who is trying to figure out how this happened:

“How can a man who was a dazzling enough politician to become the first black president at age 47 suddenly become so obdurately self-destructive about politics?”

Uh, Maureen, he was never really anything but a mouthpiece. His script was developed jointly by his puppet masters and all of you supportive “journalists.”  You and your comrades narrated the tale of “Emperor Obama’s New Clothes”, which my friend MOTUS has capitalized on so effectively.  Did you miss that part, or was it just too noisy in the cheering section to hear yourself think?

Later in today’s column Mo effectively summarizes her own psyche:

W. and Dick Cheney were too headlong, jumping off crazy cliffs and dragging the country — and the world — with them. President Obama is the opposite, often too hesitant to take the obvious action. He seems unable to muster the adrenalin necessary to go full bore until the crowd has waited and wailed and almost given up on him, but it’s a nerve-racking way to campaign and govern.

This is the non-thinking man’s (sorry Mo, woman’s) Goldilocks conundrum: one’s too hot, the other’s too cold and I’m looking for the one that’s just right. If that’s what you wanted, you probably would have been better off voting for McCain instead of a socialist.

Bottom line: I think it’s a little unfair to dump all this criticism  on Obama. He’s never been anything but a useful tool of Big, Bigger, Biggest Government. What did you expect? A Rhodes scholar?