The politicization of almost every agency of the federal govt during Bush’s administration as shown currently in both the matter of the US Attorneys who were fired and the political meeting attended – illegally – and participated in – illegally – by GSA Administrator and GOP hack Lurita Doan, along with the multi-layered levels of corruption and corporate purchasing of virtually every said agency, and adding in the comprehensive Bushian policy of putting foxes in charge of every govt henhouse, ought to give us pause to consider in depth what all that politicization was about.
I’m not just talking about the obvious reasons: the Rove/Norquist/Cheney determination to make the US a one-party nation, or Rove’s intention to use govt workers as campaign “volunteers” in much the same way that a mayor might get the fire dept to paint his house on the city dime, or the opportunities to make an illegal buck that it seems virtually every Republican office-holder – including the aforementioned Doan, apparently – jumped at without a moment’s hesitation the instant it was presented to them. I’m talking about something deeper, and the Doan business is the pointer.
There are three govt agencies that in our history have always been considered above and beyond politicization by both parties: the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the Government Accountability Office (GAO), and…the General Services Administration (GSA). No president before
Rove – sorry, Bush – has ever had the amount of gall or the lack of institutional integrity to turn any of them into annexes of the president’s political party, not even Nixon, who didn’t hesitate to drag IRS agents into playing the role of political assassins. They were numbers crunchers, non-political and non-partisan, a function respected and valued for its independence. Presidents before Bush thought they needed accurate facts and realistic evaluations to make the informed judgments necessary to running the country.
Now we know that there was no dept left independent by the Rove/Bush admin. If the GSA was politicized for campaign purposes and for the benefit of large corporate contributors to the GOP like Sun Microsystems, then we need to take the next step and ask, “How did they politicize their work?”
Over the last six years I have on numerous occasions questioned the stats coming out of agencies like the Labor Dept and the GSA because they didn’t make any sense or were…oddly worded. If Rove’s attempt to politicize the entire govt got as far as it now appears it did, then every decision, every statement, every set of statistics, every supposedly fact-based conclusion on which govt policies have been based is open to question.
In the link above, for example, I was commenting on a supposed bump in the number of new jobs announced by Elaine Chao’s Labor Dept in April of 2004 just as the heaviest part of election season was beginning and after Bush had been getting beat up over the enormous number of job that were lost after his tax cuts sent the economy into a tailspin.
Am I wrong or is this another one of Junior’s incredibly lucky weeks? I mean, here he has been taking a beating over the job losses during his Administration for weeks from Kerry, and now the very first numbers available show that over 300,000 new jobs were created. What perfect timing! And Junior’s not even Irish!
The NY Times is having conniptions over a Bush Admin estimate? “Well, Jeez, alright, if the Government says so… I mean, it’s not like they ever got any numbers wrong before, and it’s not as if we ever caught them lying, or anything, so we’ll just take their word for it, shall we? Their word is GOOD ENOUGH FOR US!” Am I the only who thinks it’s a tad obscene for the media to be accepting the announcement of yet another set of convenient numbers so readily–and gullibly–from an administration with the sorry history this one has? Has any “estimate” the BA lauded in the last 3 years turned out to be accurate?
Now we need to question not just the bogus estimates but the possibly bogus numbers as well – numbers potentially cooked up by politicized agencies run by “loyal Bushies” to make the president look good.
Just how much of this presidency is imaginary, anyway?