Politics in Government – Who Knew

05/26/2017

Politics in Government – Who Knew

Who would have thought there was politics in government. Don’t we all get along and discuss problems? Work things out so we get the best answer? That’s the original idea but as you can see things have changed slightly such that a few individuals have pushed for their point of view by adding emotion into the discussion and attempting to embarrass their opponent, or just build in a straw dog to deflect and obfuscate, you can fill in the name, there are plenty of them on both sides of the argument.

But I digress, politics and debate or politics and good ideas, really can be a thing in some parts of an effective working government. Some parts, not all parts. Some parts require an apolitical approach where it isn’t this side or that side or the other side. There is a notion in this country that some government groups should not be political in terms of Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians or Independents. There are supposed to be groups of individuals working for a particular department who are expected to be professional enough to do their job in a fair manner which don’t impose their party affiliation on the results of their work but rather allow the results of their work to affect the party affiliation. Departments like say the Post Office, the Veterans administration, the CIA, FBI or the CBO I think everyone would agree should be done without any undue influence towards liberal or conservative viewpoints – just deliver the mail, protect and heal the veterans, secure the safety of Americans here and abroad and using honest economic principals without undue influence from present or former administrations to estimate the economic state of our country. Let congress take care of the politics as they build the rules by which these groups function. Each of those departments are vital to our country but of those mentioned I believe only the Post Office and Veterans administration are arguably without political affiliation. Many may disagree with me but I have observed responses to questions in the media and in the televised hearings which can only be explained when put through the lens of party affiliations, which to me is a very scary thing that could lead to improper imprisonment or equally bad, a loss of jobs. Let’s be honest, none of the parties has all the right answers so the “professionals” should do their work in a manner which does not unduly influence their results to tip the scales in one direction or another, (IRS w/holding tax exempt status of conservative political charities comes to mind).

I say this in response to the recent televised Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on the Russian collaboration questions being raised and pushed forward as a real issue by the media and Senator Chuck Schumer, (there seems to be a lot of people jumping on the coat tails of this idea in an effort to derail the recent election but, make no mistake Schumer is in the forefront acting as Obama’s proxy for his legacy). I noticed the responses from former CIA director George Brennan to a number of questions by the Democratic and Republican Senators where very politically guarded in the case of the Republicans such as Senator Tray Goudy. Tray asked some very pointed questions concerning his observations of the intelligence he gathered and turned over to the FBI for review of criminal activity. Director Brennan simple stated he put together the information for the FBI to determine if there were any signs of collusion that it was not his place to judge whether or not collusion between the trump campaign and Russia had actually taken place. Two problems I have with that. Was he selective in the information he turned over such that he made it appear it probably took place and why did he give a more detailed statement in response to a democrat’s question a few days earlier stating the evidence he presented appeared to indicate collusion had taken place. Couple all this with the soft nothing questions and speeches the democrats directed at director Brennan and you have demonstrable, and to me offensive, unprofessional signs of politics in a department which needs to be apolitical. If director Brennan is not actively working to further the democratic agenda and reversing the election results then he is actively working to derail Trump which is not in the interest of the US and whether he denies it or not it actually serves director Brennan and not the CIA.

Looking back on the recent media statements on the FBI aren’t much better. With director Comey confirming the investigation into Hillary Clinton, then the runway meeting of the head of the DOJ and Bill Clinton followed by director Comey listing a bona fide indictment of Hillary Clinton concluding with the statement no reasonable attorney general would actually attempt to prosecute her on this evidence. Not sure where that came from but the optics, if you look at it honestly, sure suggest there is an elite group of citizens in the US who were driving this society until the recent election and they appeared to be the Clinton’s, and Obama’s and their handlers. (I don’t believe for a minute either family could have reached this level without extensive help, they’re not that smart and don’t have the experience other than cutthroat manipulation to no benefit). There are a lot of groupies hanging on to the power in the media who help propagate their image. Whatever you believe I was very disappointed in Comey’s actions and do not believe they reflect the honest investigation the FBI should have conducted. Either indict her or don’t but don’t do it in the press for crying out loud. Sort of reminds me of the stories of how the blacks were railroaded in courts of the south in the 40’s and 50’s in favor of the police when a crime occurred against a black person — “nothing here and no one would prosecute them”.

Then there’s the CBO, that paragon of independence from politics, it’s almost laughable. The CBO has been at the service of the democrats in one form or another since the Clinton era. The may have had some push back on the president’s policy some would say but rarely if ever to the congressional democrats. When Obama was first elected and proposed his initial budget it was scary. Scary that he would cut back on Bush’s limited government (not all that limited) and propose to massively increase the size of government and as a result we would all “enjoy” the benefits of the resulting 4% economic growth. The CBO gave very little push back and as I recall suggested a cut back to the standard 2.5-3% growth we had been seeing. Anyone who was not “steeped” in the Goolsbee School of Economic Theory understood we would be lucky to see a 1% growth in the economy and as for job creation and helping grow the economy that way the only growth in jobs would be government jobs which actually always translates in to a negative overall job growth for the nation as a whole. So, I’m ever curious why, when Trump’s budget includes a 3% growth in it they have a problem with it and not that it ramps up to 3% after roughly 3-5 years but that it gets to 3% at all even though as White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney explained this is the range that we actually experienced prior to the Obama economic tide. How is this not completely partisan politics. As an engineer, I’ve found it is important to base judgements off of some historical evidence until actual data indicates something else and since the 3% growth was apparent prior to the massive government regulations of the Obama years and since the Trump budget pushes to smaller government this seems like a better comparison than the one Obama proposed.

I don’t know but something seems amiss here. We’ve had a huge increase in identity politics, more people are placing blame instead of just fixing the problem, the FBI can’t keep their mouth shut, Top appointees of the previous administration seem to be Colluding, in the SEC sense of the word, with each other. The CIA looks as though it’s screening the intelligence it’s passing on so as to appear like they’re above it all and on the correct side – what correct side? How about we get on about the business of helping the people instead of the politicians. I still maintain the “swamp” is anyone and everyone involved in partisan politics.

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