Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Integrity in the Rear View Mirror

Looking for your integrity in the rear view mirror is becoming an occupational hazard in the newsroom. Take Fred Hiatt's latest on the opinion pages of the Washington Post. (WP, Op-Ed, 29 March). Hiatt is worried about "fiscal catastrophe" after the Obamacare bill has passed. Makes you wonder where the editor of the Post and his editorial colleagues have been doing for the last year.

Of course Fred knows, like every other entitlement shill inside the beltway, that once passed, this new largess will not be undone; even if universal health care and fiscal responsibility are mutually exclusive (see R.J. Samuelson). Admiral Cockburn will burn the capitol again before any large federal entitlements are cut. Pinata programs are perpetual motion machines; they only move in one direction - up!

P.J O'Rourke once characterized the US Congress as a "parliament of whores." Before that, Mark Twain suggested that American politicians might be the only "permanent class of criminals" in the world. Surely the editor of the Post knows all this; so what's he up to?

Now that we're adrift in the fiscal crapper, Hiatt seems to be making an argument for swimming lessons. Or is "having your cake and eat it" a better metaphor? In the run-up to Obamacare; Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and prescription drug relief were all celebrated as social landmarks. Yet somehow these programs are never judged to be failures once they become corrupt and/or insolvent. So what's a body to do? Cover your azimuth, says Fred; be against it after you were for it. That way, when the obvious becomes inevitable, an editor might play the sage and say: "I told you so." Good get Fred, you covered your bets.

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About Me

The author is a native of the Bronx, a transplant to DC. He is a Vietnam veteran and former USAF Intelligence officer with tours at all of the major 3 button Intelligence agencies. He is a graduate of the Lt. Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. School and Cardinal Hayes HS in NYC. He also has several degrees from less illustrious institutions. Check Six writes primarily at G. Murphy Donovan and Agnotology in Journalism. His work has appeared in various political, national security, and Intelligence journals.