May 30, 2014
Dems blame . . . big government?
Another week, another scandal.
From Fast and Furious at the ATF to the Pigford fraud at the Department of Agriculture, the IRS’ political targeting to the State Department’s Benghazi mess, the healthcare.gov debacle at HHS to spying at the NSA and the DOJ, President Obama is running out of agencies and departments to defend in his two years left in office.
This White House has either had the worst luck in recent memory or it is responsible for breaches of public trust so vast, it’s no wonder public faith in our government is at a record low.
And now, we must add the scandal at the Department of Veterans Affairs — one so singularly sad, offensive and disappointing it almost feels wrong to put the callous deaths of at least 40 veterans who served our country in the same category as political tax targeting. Still, in some ways it is more of the pitiful same.
There are hearings that try to coax information out of high-level bureaucrats who never seem to know enough or to tell the entire truth. Desperate finger-pointing, that Republicans must somehow be to blame, from Obama loyalists. And endless delays and stall tactics to slow-walk or withhold key information until the public tires of the exercise.
The truth Democrats don’t want you to know is that these scandals are not about racism or Republicans or obstruction votes or even President Obama.
They are about the collapse of a big-government bureaucracy that consistently lets you down, but which the left depends on to keep your vote.
If there’s anything at all funny about these scandals, it’s that Democrats don’t realize that their efforts to deflect attention away from this inconvenient truth often ends up pointing directly at it.
The problem is never at the top, they insist. The issue at the IRS wasn’t Lois Lerner or anyone else “in charge,” or their top-down directives to monitor political activity, but “low-level bureaucrats” in a Cincinnati office.
HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius wasn’t responsible for the Obamacare website problems; it was Canadian contractor CGI.
Never mind who gave the directive at the NSA to secretly collect metadata from millions of Americans; the real problem there is the rogue private contractor.
And Secretary Eric Shinseki has done a heckuva job at the VA, but the folks underneath him decided — totally on their own — to keep secret waiting lists.
Yes, people at the top should be held responsible when things go wrong. But at the same time, it hardly matters who that is when he or she is sitting on top of a steaming pile of bureaucratic waste.
The oversight of millions of low-level bureaucrats with unnavigable chains-of-command and arcane protocols is the problem.
The outsourcing of sensitive government work to low-level contractors in Canada and elsewhere is the problem.
The sprawling and ever-expanding surveillance state that puts our most personal information in the hands of unaccountable bureaucrats is the problem.
And, yes, money is the problem, too, but not in the way Democrats insist. The VA itself reported more than $2 billion in waste and fraud, just in 2012. The inability to manage the money these bloated bureaucracies we already have is the problem.
Big-government bureaucracy is the problem, and Democrats unintentionally tell us that all the time. But don’t take my word for it.
“The point is, we are a big country,” says self-described democratic socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders. “The VA sees six and a half million people a year. Are people going to be treated badly? Are some people going to die because of poor treatment in the VA? Yes, that is a tragedy and we have to get to the root of it.”
Well, I think he just did.
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S.E. Cupp is a writer for NY Daily News.