The Aldrich Alert
Gary Aldrich

A Publication of the Patrick Henry Center for Individual Liberty

Gloves Off! – Dems Risk National Security for Political Gain

October 4, 2002

by Gary Aldrich - Volume 2, Issue 44

This article was first published on - October 2, 2002.

I’ve been flooded with e-mails from current and former federal workers who cannot believe the Democrats would trade national security for organized union support and votes. Most of these e-mails confirm my conclusions that the federal government is fat with personnel, many of whom have become dead wood.

I’m speaking now of the stiff opposition to President Bush’s plans to reorganize some 170,000 federal employees into one huge agency dedicated to Homeland Security. President Bush knows that a larger agency will give more cover to incompetent bureaucrats – and that’s why he insists that he be given certain powers in personnel decisions. Specifically, he wants flexibility on hiring, firing, transferring and promoting federal employees.

It just makes sense. Federal workers who hold the public trust also have a hold on the future of the public safety. Whether it’s a low-level mail boy or a midlevel secretary, every federal employee who is part of this unique group must perform at 100 percent or better in order to ensure national security during times of war.

For example, a single important document containing key facts needs to reach everybody on the routing list, without delay. Make no mistake; every piece of paper will be important because readers will make judgments based on the facts contained in these documents, judgments that will impact us all.

If a document sits too long on a desk because a federal employee is distracted, lazy or insolent, or comes back late from lunch, important, time-sensitive clues may not reach the proper parties.

Have we not just gone through sufficient examination of the FBI – an agency employing some of the highest-qualified, most motivated employees – and learned that agents could not get their memos read fast enough and were clueless about how to properly proceed with the information if they did read the memos? Their lack of performance brought into question the possibility that if the warning memos had been properly routed and read, maybe the events of 9/11 could have been avoided – at least in part.

We’ll never know, but one thing is certain: We’re not paying people to sit around planning their next agency picnic or chatting about the latest sales at Target – at least not right now. We cannot afford that kind of trivial misuse of public funds and public time.

Partisan Pandering

But evidently the Democrats can. Liberal Democrats have gotten so bold as to appear in the courtyard of our sworn enemy and call our president a liar. I, for one, have no problem calling this traitorous.

They claim that they understand the nature and gravity of the looming threat of more terrorist attacks, but if they did, how could they continue to insist that business in the federal government be conducted as usual? How can they condemn President Bush’s plans?

This position should raise a question: Why can’t Liberal Democrats get moving in the same direction as the folks who do know how to protect national security? Why won’t they at least cooperate, even if they don’t know how to do it for themselves? Why do they want to "monkey-wrench” the concepts of merit and excellence in the ranks of federal employees we depend on for protection?

After all, it’s in their personal best interests to have their homeland protected.

It would be one thing if Liberal Democrats would admit that they are unable to get organized and find it too difficult to concentrate on matters of national security and foreign policy. Nevertheless, everybody knows Republicans are better at foreign policy and waging war. And yet, the Liberal Democrats will not defer. They inexplicably pretend they know how to do it. They do not know how to do it! The proof is in, and there is plenty of hard evidence!

There is no better place on the face of the globe to raise a family than right here; nowhere are people healthier, happier, more financially secure and more in charge of their own lives. One hundred percent of us agree that it’s a good life. That’s why we still live here and millions of others are trying to move here! Isn’t it vitally important to protect what we have?

So, why would a Liberal Democrat fight with President Bush about making federal employees more accountable for their performance? Why can’t they be subjected to the same standards private industry uses to ensure profitability?

It’s not as if we have to beg people to work for Uncle Sam. Thousands of stacks of resumes stand as mute testimony that the very opposite is true.

Addicted to Power

The answer is simple but should disturb every American who loves his country: Liberal Democrats are simply hooked on power and the wealth that comes with it. Like a cocaine addict, they will lie and cheat to get their "fix.” They are so hooked that they will cross their fingers and hope they can buy time and get to where they want to go before the next thousands die, sacrificed to their greed.

Liberal Democrats seem willing to gamble that President Bush and his administration will work twice as hard to make up for the lazy, incompetent and dim-witted who have managed to burrow into federal jobs.

They may be right – and as long as we don’t have another attack, they may be able to fight off Bush’s plans to bring excellence back to at least some of the federal workforce.

But if they are wrong, and if we lose another mass of innocents to foreign terrorists because of a continuing incompetence in a workforce that’s protected by unions and Liberal Democrats, then I hope that the gentlemen and gentlewomen in the GOP will finally find their voices and begin to say what the rest of us are thinking: Lead, follow or get out of the way!