Milbank: Secret Service And GSA Scandals Really The Fault Of…The American People
That’s right, it’s your fault. It’s not government gone wild, it’s not a government that feels entitled to pull these kinds of stunts, no, you sitting there who happened to glance at TMZ, you’re to blame, says the Washington Post’s Dana Milbank: Debauchery: An American specialty
Before we get to the dancing penises at the National Institutes of Health (WT note: you’ll have to read the end of Milbank’s op-ed to learn what this is about), let’s begin our discussion with the Secret Service agents’ dalliance with prostitutes in Cartagena, Colombia.
“We’re representing the people of the United States,” President Obama said Sunday when asked about the agents and military personnel who, after a night of heavy drinking, reportedly procured prostitutes at a strip club called the Pleyclub. “And when we travel to another country I expect us to observe the highest standards.”
But the president has it exactly backward. It is precisely when federal workers go abroad that they should hold themselves to the lowest standards. We are, after all, the land of Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan and Snooki. Debauchery is an American specialty. The president should be promoting the export of our culture.
I realize that some party poopers will not share my delight at the Secret Service becoming a double entendre. But at the very least, this scandal, like the General Services Administration’s spending spree in Las Vegas, should serve to refute claims that the federal workforce is out of touch with ordinary Americans. As it turns out, some federal workers reflect our culture all too well.
Maybe we should stop blaming the feds for being like the rest of us – it’s hardly surprising that bad actors and buffoons find their way into the public sector as well as the private – and think of other lessons to draw from the scandal, such as possible recruitment tools: Work for the government and get a complimentary upgrade to a hot-tub suite? Join the Secret Service and be a playuh at the Pleyclub? Surely the GSA, a sleepy backwater of the government responsible for property, would raise its profile if it changed its name to the Garish Soiree Administration or the Grandiose Shindig Agency.
On one hand, Milbank’s is right: we are at fault, at least when we are talking about the GSA scandal. The federal government feels empowered to spend and spend and spend, and know there will be no one to really stop them. They know it is Someone Else’s money, and, if they need more, they’ll just tax, borrow, or invent it. Government feels no need to be responsible with the taxpayer’s money, they feel entitled to spend it as they please, and they know there is no need to answer to The People. And it’s our fault, because half the country wants to put all this money and power in the hands of the government, and the other half can’t stop it no matter how much we try, because the Leftist half tends to be ensconced within the government, and even elected Republicans play the game in giving away money for votes.
We expect better from our government, but, rarely get it, and are often powerless to stop it. This growth happened over a hundred years ago, and it always seemed as if the government was simply helping us, was there for us, but has now grown into a monster that can’t be stopped. This is one of the reasons we need term limits on Congress, so that they stop worrying about government give aways to get re-elected, and there stops being a Political Aristocracy.
On the other hand, no, the Secret Service scandal is not our fault: I’m not going to directly blame Obama, but, interesting that this happens during a time of loose government ethics and standards where the Chief Executive parties, plays, and vacations hard.