Monday, December 28, 2009
The Bigger They Are...
By Alan Caruba
The phrase, “The bigger they are, the harder they fall” comes from the world of boxing, but it applies increasingly to government.
Americans have seen that the bigger the government grows, the less able it is to respond to both the major needs of Americans, like national security, and the immediate ones such as the victims of Hurricane Katrina.
The thing I liked most about our response to 9/11 was the fairly swift response of President Bush and the U.S. military. It wasn’t long before bombs were falling in Afghanistan’s Tora Bora. The thing I liked least was the astonishing incompetence that followed in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.
The lesson, I think, is that the military is ideally structured to identify and carry out a mission while its civilian counterparts are so mired in caution as to eviscerate any likelihood of success.
The consolidation of several agencies under the umbrella of the Department of Homeland Security was possibly a good idea though it has its detractors. Americans are forced to believe that both they and our intelligence community are functioning well enough to protect us right up to the moment we learn they are not. It is thankless work to know you have deterred terrorist attacks only to have that wiped out with an incident like the one on Christmas.
It is made worse when, as in the normal course of things, the people at the top of the departments and agencies are too often the end result of politics, not competence. Janet Napolitano, the former Governor of Arizona, is a classic example of someone with virtually no security experience being tasked to oversee a department entirely devoted to security.
It is clear to everyone that Janet Napolitano needs to be replaced. She poses a danger to the nation’s security because she has probably demoralized her entire department and because her judgment is severely impaired.
Beyond Napolitano, there are the many “czars” that have been added to the White House payroll, the director of what has become a rogue agency, the Environmental Protection Agency, and serious concerns about an Attorney General who dismisses action against union thugs at election centers while extending the rights asserted by the U.S. Constitution to admitted enemy combatants.
The November 2010 midterm elections will afford Americans the opportunity to rid itself of as many Democrats as possible in Congress and, presumably, Republicans that will replace them will have learned their lesson since 2006. There is one overriding requirement facing Congress and that is to put our fiscal house in order, pay down debts, and get out of the way of Main Street so they can begin to create jobs again.
The only jobs government can create are government jobs and there are clearly far too many of them.
I must confess I do not see the Obama administration doing any of this. What I expect is more idiotic “Cash for Clunkers” and “Cash for Caulkers” programs, more billions wasted on “clean energy” industries that cannot attract private investment, and in the fullness of time, more revelations about corruption in the body politic.
If the Republic should fail from the prolificacy we are witnessing, it will take all of us with it.