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05 September 2011

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graywolf

I read it.
This could have been written by a Democrat staffer.
You notice this parasite took a salary (not shabby, I'm sure) for 16 years POSING as a Republican.
Doesn't say much for his integrity, but then consider where he "worked.?"

Just another useless government drone having some vague attack of conscience while smiling all the way to the bank.

Adam L Silverman

Graywolf,

Do you actually have any idea what a staffer does in Congress, let alone a senior one who is administratng a committee? Also, did it ever occur to you that there might be something a bit skewed about constantly denigrating America's institutions? As well as the people that choose to work (serve?) in them? And how exactly is he a parasite? Did he go to his job every day and do it? Even when he felt that it was no longer what he had signed on for as the people he was working for had changed? Yes he did to both. It's easy to take potshots at the players when you've never even been in the game. Once he felt he could no longer continue working for Congressional Republicans he retired and then said his piece. COL Lang and Mr. Giraldi have been critical of the former government elements they served in, does that somehow make them worthy of denigration? Or that they served and were paid by the government on behalf of the taxpayer?

J

While working for the government, one does not have opinions, if they do they keep it to themselves, as everything they might say is taken by the public-at-large as reflecting on the government and is held to be the governmental opinion. It is not until that a person retires or is no longer under government service that they then have (or are allowed to) a personal opinion, whatever flavor it may be.

While in government service (uniformed and civilian), the zip-lip axiom applies, after government service all bets are off (with the exception of privy to classified government stuff then such stuff still has the zip-lip axiom applied in an indefinite status till that person expires from this earth).

Patrick Lang

Adam et al

Just to be precise, my post-retirement complaints are about the policies of the Bush and Obama Administrations overseas. The US Army and DIA have done as well as they could in very difficult situations and continue to do so. pl

Ramojus

Prof. Silverman,

A slightly larger font for your posts por favor?

My middle aged eyes have difficulty reading your enlightened thoughts.

Sincerely,

William R. Cumming

The fact that true personal opinions must be concealed to work for any organization may well be a sign of the times. But perhaps it would help if those running those organizations would be the kind of people that understand what second opinions and honest advice in the long run do to strengthen institutions. Unfortunately the death of the messenger for bad news still is often the case when those in power get that news.
So to many in power ask the question does your institution reflect its founders and their hopes and dreams or is it merely a cog in a broken wheel?

Adam L Silverman

COL Lang,

Thank you for making that point. I wasn't trying to put you on the spot, but you've succinctly put what I was trying to get at in my response to Graywolf. Criticisms, including post career one's, of institutions shouldn't be taken as running down the institution itself or per se. One of our major problems in the US is that some folks have been very politicaly successful first stating that government can't do anything right, then working to make the statement true, and now denigrating anyone who works in the public sector.

Jake

Mike Lofgren is no joke and this writing a very sad description of what our representative form of government has turned into.

What a posting to read in the morning to start ones day....

graywolf

Dr. Silverman et. al:
Yes, I do have an idea of what Congressional staffers do.
My niece is one (House Armed services).

And I'm NOT impressed - especially with the product.

Badly written legislation (by 25 year old yuppies) to be signed off by their meglomaniacal weasel bosses.
See Obamacare as a prime example of the "work" of Congressional staff.

Unfortunately, in the context of democracy, there is no better solution.
Government is political and hence often corrupt and always inefficient and unaccountable.
See FBI, FAA, EPA, SEC....ad mauseum.

Lofgren (and I think many of the posters here) is a government lifer.
Bigger and bigger government is good for the careerists.
The rest of us, not so.

Bill H.

There are none so bitter as a disillusioned idealist. While I do not by any means discount what the author of the piece has to say, he is of necessity presenting only one side of the issue. While there is certainly substance in his assertions, he has not met and held disciussions with every single member of the Republican Party and does not, therefor, speak for the party.

A disillusioned Obama supporter might write something very similar, and without telling a single lie he could paint a very false picture of Obama's presidency to date.

Fred

Ramojus,

Try the combo of the "CRTL" and "+/=" keys, should do the trick.

Andy

No doubt the GoP - or at least parts of the GoP - are on a road to crazy-land.

Unfortunately, the alternative isn't much better. The Democrats and their advocates are currently trying to gain support by pointing out just how much worse the GoP is. Unfortunately, being merely less crazy is not, at least in my opinion, a basis to give them any support.

I fear we are nearing a crisis of legitimacy in this country if our elites don't pull their heads out of their collective 4th point of contact.

Brent Wiggans

We are seeing the culmination of a 30-year project, inspired by Reagan’s famous dictum that the government is the problem not the solution, to finally roll back the activist model of government developed and adopted in response to the Great Depression. The cohort of Karl Rove and Grover Norquist made misgovernment the touchstone of the first really viable attempt to roll back the New Deal since its inception. The genius of Ronald Reagan was to adapt the tactics of the anti-establishment types he fought against as governor of California to his own purposes when he became President with a Congress still dominated by Democrats. He assumed the ever-popular-in-American-culture pose of the anti-establishment rebel, doing battle this time on behalf of fed-up grown-ups everywhere against the oppressive authority of the state, which was controlled by Liberals sympathetic to the Hippies and Leftists who had caused all the trouble in the first place. His words were the precipitating crystal dropped into the solution of anger and frustration that had been building for years from the youth rebellion of the sixties, the Vietnam War, the energy crises and economic stagflation. The hard, ugly thing that emerged from that cauldron was a weapon which the Roves and the Norquists recognized could be enhanced and directed by deliberate mismanagement and corruption of the federal government, which would further undermine its ability to fulfill its responsibilities and the downward spiral would accelerate. Three decades later Republicans have recognized in the Great Recession the potential bookend to the era of Big Government and they will not let this opportunity pass at any cost (and, after all, increasing costs only serves their political purpose). Along comes Barack Obama, the consummate pragmatist who wants to make nice with Republicans in order to make things work again; bad time to be a pragmatist. Republicans, having made entropy the engine of their drive to power, have convinced themselves that near-term economic failure is in the nation’s long-term interest because it is likely to return them to power with a mandate to dismantle every constraint on capital.

Unless some unforeseen event intervenes to change the calculus, I am thinking that the ideological fight will have to be decided decisively before any order can emerge from a chaos whose perpetuation serves the interests of one of the combatants. Either the Republicans get their way and we head on back to the Gilded Age (or worse) or they must be repudiated soundly enough to remove their capacity to sabotage society.

William R. Cumming

ACtually I have no problem cutting back the "invisible" government that largely supports defunct large corporations largely mismanaged, the banks [who no longer can be of service to anyone but their officers and employees] and the Bond Ghouls that pretend corporate debt is always more important than the debts of the bottom 99% of USA residents and citizens by wealth. With the top 1% by wealth controlling over 40% of the nation's total wealth why is this ratio never discussed by the President or Congress? Is it because they are in the top 1%?

Fred

500,000 Armed settlers? That sounds like a full field army.

VietnamVet

Dr. Silverman,

I am in agreement that one of the major political parties is an “apocalyptic cult” that has jumped off the cliff. It is an intentional failure of corporate media to report how far off the deep end the GOP really is.

The Democratic Party has been captured by the wealthy elites and doesn’t give a damn about the plight of American citizens. The colossal failures to write off the housing bad debt, ban derivative trading, break up the too big to fail banks, end the forever wars, pass a Medicare for all health system and rebuild infrastructure assures that millions and millions of Americans will be out of work for years into the future as life expectancy declines; probably for decades, or until the Second American Revolution convulses North America.

Arun

Kevin Drum on the upside of being lunatic:
http://motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2011/09/upside-being-lunatic

Thomas

"With the top 1% by wealth controlling over 40% of the nation's total wealth why is this ratio never discussed by the President or Congress? Is it because they are in the top 1%?"

No, because the top 1% fund their campaigns. You don't bite the hand that feeds your ego.

Leo Strauss

Greetings to all. My difficulty lauding this individual and his message is that everything he notes was readily apparent to any 'conservative' February-July 2001 and the entire decade there after. (The Feb.-May timeframe was when the personnel of EOP/OVP took shape). And any high school paper reporter.

When the American inheritance was being squandered 2001-2008. many, like Bruce Bartlett, spoke out about the reckless spending *at the time* and paid for it with his job and subsequent career difficulties. Other Republican operatives fought (and lost) for an entity committed to liberal democratic pluralism. They acted on their convictions.

By contrast, this individual, like Colin Powell, the Benchpresser and Wilkerson spoke out only when it was safe for him to do so. The media still rewards their inaction when it would have mattered and candor after getting fired. None of them had the basic courage of a Cy Vance.

We can't count how many senior, nationally famous Republican operatives who've said "We not going to fall on our swords for [Iraq, deficits, torture, FISA, surveillance, OSD insanity, Agency cravenness], etc.

When their retirements/options wealth positions permit them to let us know they were in on the sham from the beginning, they have every reason to be celebrated as well. Wolf Blitzer even will pull out a chair . . .

Adam L Silverman

Herr Doctor Strauss,

Thanks for remarking on this. I agree that he shouldn't be lionized, but the unfortunate reality to this mess that you've been monitoring and writing about seems to be that its only when folks like this feel they're safe that they start writing about it. Our gracious host, a former boss who is a retired career former service officer, and a few select others are the rare few. It almost seems that for the message to get out broadly it unfortunately has to be in the manner that you lament.

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