Sunday, June 19, 2005

Today's Right Wingers are Unqualified for Government Service

Here's a challenge: Can anyone mention a single policy of George W. Bush's since he was installed as President that actually worked as advertised at the time? Anything? In any area?

Ever wonder why this question is so tough? I think the answer is so obvious that no one notices it: Modern Republican ideology hates government. When Ronald Reagan was President, he proclaimed that government wasn't for solving problems, government WAS the problem. When his budget director David Stockman wrote his famous mea culpa a few years later, he made it clear that "Reaganomics" was not a coherent economic plan, but merely a calculated scheme to "starve" government of resources to be able to do anything. Conservative boss Grover Norquist famously quipped that he wanted to shrink government down to a size small enough so that he could "drown it in a bathtub"

Can you think of any reason why anyone should expect success or even competence from anyone who hates the career endeavor they are in? Would you expect competence from a medical doctor who scoffs at the Hippocratic oath and thinks modern medical procedures are overkill and hooey? Would you entrust your home renovations to an electrician who thinks that building codes are evil and unnecessary? Would you trust your child's education to a teacher who wants to drown them in a bathtub?

Of course not.

Is there any reason why we should even expect competence from people who hate their jobs? When George Bush was running for President, he appeared to be blissfully unaware of basic matters of civics. Like castigating his opponents for wanting to run Social Security "like it's some kind of federal program". And it continues: From the President we hear that the Social Security Trust Fund is composed of "just IOU's", blissfully unaware that by describing Treasury Bonds as such, he violated the Constitution's 14th Amendment, an impeachable offense.

Once in power the right wing's incompetence continued of course. Allowing 9/11 to happen by aggressive neglect, at best. Demolishing the surplus and creating the largest deficits known to U.S. history. Putting the brakes on economic growth and jobs. Dismantling environmental protections. Rolling back the rights of working Americans. Demanding huge goals in education and refusing to fund the implementation of them. Trashing virtually every international treaty in operation. Bobbling the war in Afghanistan and turning it into the largest opium source in the world while allowing the Taliban back in to reorganize. Trashing our civil liberties. Manipulating our national science institutions for the benefit of corporate greed or weird religious extremist ends. And the final insult, the trumped up lies that enabled a totally fumbled, incompetently planned war on Iraq.

These are not the actions of a group who cares about government, about civics, about the health of the body politic and about America itself. These are the actions of the teacher who wants to drown kids in a bathtub, or a surgeon who thinks the Hippocratic Oath is nonsense.

A corollary to this idea is the fact that those who support the right side of the aisle share their leaders' distaste for all things government. Whether that distaste comes from personal convictions or the steady propaganda drip of the right wing media machine is subject to debate. Whatever the case is, no one can expect a person to devote much time learning about what is distasteful to him or her. So it should come as no surprise that those who have a distaste for government are those who know the least about its workings, policies and decisions. In the field, the ignorance of the workings of government by conservatives are way too numerous to mention. One characteristic example though is found in the rant of an otherwise apparently accomplished and intelligent blogger who recently argued that the U.S. Post Office would do far better if it relied not on taxes, but on user fees. This guy was apparently unaware that the USPS already does run on user fees. They're called "stamps".

The incompetent are leading the country with the support and grace of the ignorant. Be afraid. Be very afraid. People who hate what they do aren't qualified to remain in the profession they hate. Do them, and us, a favor and get them into another career path now!