My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.


Will The REAL Conservative Please Stand Up?

No, I'm not trying to disparage any of the people in the race already. I'm simply laying out an obvious platform for anybody interested in the conservative vote in 2008.

You want to appeal to my conservative instincts? Run on a platform of tearing down the government and rebuilding it in a way that has a prayer of working.

Just try to think about what we've learned about the U.S. government in the last year or so:

:Embassy staffers said they have wasted countless hours squabbling with Washington instead of focusing on more urgent initiatives to stabilize Iraq. In one incident, as the bickering between Commerce and State intensified, the embassy blocked a team of Commerce officials from entering the country.

:A United States Justice Department report says the FBI has improperly - and in some cases illegally - put citizens under surveillance without judicial approval. . .

The report says the FBI not only violated their own internal regulations, but in some cases violated the law in gathering the private information.

:D. Kyle Sampson, the chief of staff to Atty. Gen. Alberto R. Gonzales, is leaving the Justice Department in the first fallout from the department's bungled firing of U.S. attorneys last year, people familiar with the situation said Monday night.

:Such questions reveal slip-shod tradecraft, casting doubt on whether Plame’sidentity was even classified, much less covert.

[Seriously, folks, this was just the quickest link to find about incompetence at the C.I.A. This is a LONG list that includes missing the fall of the Berlin Wall, missing the Iraq invasion of Kuwait, missing 9/11, and blowing the call on WMD's in Iraq.]

:He was also pretty blunt in his assessment regarding some members of the Public Affairs Office. “There are some guys who are winning this war,” he said. “There are others who are losing it.”

:More than a year after it was launched, a privately run teacher certification program backed by $40 million in federal grants is accepted in only five states and has certified only a half dozen teachers.

:The entire building, constructed between the world wars, often smells like greasy carry-out. Signs of neglect are everywhere: mouse droppings, belly-up cockroaches, stained carpets, cheap mattresses.

This is the world of Building 18, not the kind of place where Duncan expected to recover when he was evacuated to Walter Reed Army Medical Center

:Fifteen years and $14.6 billion later, the Big Dig is nearly complete. But one tunnel is being treated as a crime scene after a ceiling collapse killed a motorist. A contractor stands indicted on charges of supplying shoddy concrete. One of the tunnels remains closed to traffic, and many Bostonians shy away from the others, unsure they are safe.

After years of cost overruns and tunnel leaks, the project plunged this month into the deepest crisis in its history when the 12-ton section of ceiling panels broke loose, crushing a car and killing a 38-year-old woman inside.

So, in just this quick survey, we've seen incompetence at Commerce, State, The F.B.I., Justice, the C.I.A, Defense, Education, Veteran's Affairs, and Transportation.

And, oh yeah, have you noticed that tax day is coming soon?

And don't get me started on the various bits of politically correct incompetence related to Homeland Security or Border Security.

And does anybody rememember the highlight of the last few years' bungle-fest . . .little event called "Katrina" . . . bad little agency called FEMA (whether it's fair or not).

My point is this: when was the last time you heard a report about an agency of the federal govenment actually working the way it was designed to work?

If the entrenched bureaucracy in Washington is unable to get the job done for the American people, then the entrenched bureaucracy needs to be removed.

Of course, there's no way this can happen in today's political environment. So, instead, the smart candidate should actually propose creating brand new agencies to better handle the demands of the new century. A 20th-century government is not nimble or intelligent enough to deal with the expectations of the 21st century.

In the meantime, the only way to balance the budget while doing all of this is to starve the dying and useless elements of the old government.

You might even be able to attract talented people to want to be a part of government again, if you can convince them that government might actually work.

Or something like that. I haven't had a chance to fully flesh this out.

But it's clear from just that quick set of google searches--which took very little time--that the federal government DOES NOT WORK. And a Presidential candidate who can come in and articulate that and show that they have a track record that indicates they might be able to fix it is a Presidential candidate that I would not only vote for but would walk streets and work phone banks for.

And, on that count, I think that might give Mitt Romney and Rudy Guiliani a leg up.

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