In his Saturday address President Trump talked about Senate action on his first Supreme Court nominee that will “protect the rule of law and democratic way of life that is absolutely a birthright of all Americans.”1 That democratic way of life may be our right, but how often does it work for us when something needs to get done?
We all know that “government ethics” is an oxymoron. Abuses like corruption are hard to miss and harder to ignore, but sneaky bad behaviors like propaganda and disinformation do even more damage because they are harder to spot.
It has been a tough few years for public sector ethics. While Congress pontificates about fairness, rights, and justice we still don’t have any noticeable support for term limits. Lawmakers only recently passed limits on insider trading on Capitol Hill. The subtler types of unethical behavior are the ones we don’t see coming, though. They undermine what America stands for and what Americans believe in. Political rhetoric that distorts the truth or silences dissent, catering to special interests, pandering to big money campaign donors, even selecting groups of voters like Hispanics and LGBT Americans for legislative favoritism all point to how ethics in Washington is good for lip service and little else.
The rise of Hillary Clinton to leading contender for the Democratic presidential nomination speaks volumes about America’s ability to look the other way, as does Barack Obama’s casual attitude towards the powers permitted his office. As the political stakes and pressure to appease fringe groups grow, ethics will increasingly become something to disregard for the sake of a cause, not something we use to guide our actions.
Income tax is one of those painful things that should happen to other people. There will always be reasons we should pay less and others should pay more. As taxpayers we don’t have much say one way or the other. Washington will spend our money as it sees fit, though despite what we like to think much of that spending is mandatory, not discretionary.
Were you surprised that Jeff Sessions didn’t show up for his confirmation hearings in a white robe and pointy hat? That’s what we were told to expect, but Sessions didn’t spew any racist invective. He didn’t prove to be the monster portrayed by the joint media-Democratic Party smear campaign based in large part on a contentious, thirty-year-old nomination for a judgeship.
After the election the media gleefully brought us stories of people who were fearful of what a President Trump might do. Many were afraid of being deported. Others lived in fear of hate crimes. They recited what they had been told to believe. Their words only emphasized America’s need for fear, respect, and trust. Threats of a Trump overreach show just how skewed the country’s values became under a sorry combination of Barack Obama and too much liberal lunacy.
Barack Obama has something going for him that Donald Trump never will. He’s not a white guy.
Wetbacks? Race card is the only weapon left.
To his credit, Obama didn’t play the race card in his own defense. Others did it for him, including ex-president Jimmy Carter early in the president’s first term.1 Using race as a weapon is the sort of low blow politicians stoop to when pushing unpopular policy gets dicey.
Jail doesn’t pay very well, though if you are locked up your career is only part of your problem. There are better options. A career as a public servant can be very lucrative. $174,000 a year, the starting salary for members of Congress, is more than three times the median U.S. household income.1 It’s not a tremendous amount of money, but most Americans would trade their jobs for it in an instant if given the chance.
Police faced with bodies lying in the hot summer streets of a big city are a far cry from jargon-laden comments issued by the Justice Dept. and Attorney General Loretta Lynch about youth, guns, and violence:
In addition to our federal efforts, we are advancing a number of comprehensive, collaborative initiatives with state and local partners – because we understand that the best way to make a difference in communities is to work hand-in-hand with the people who live and work in our communities every day.
We don’t need another bad president. Bad presidents cause problems. They are hard to control. Often they want to stick around after one term. We have to waste time and money fixing their mistakes and dealing with the irresponsible things their advisors do. What America really needs is a queen and a royal family, not a president.