Forecast: Short Pause In Bureaucrat Bashing

Tuesday - 1/11/2011, 4:00am EST

Long-suffering feds may be a temporary let-up in anti-big government rhetoric generated by politicians, the press and some think tanks. In its more recent concentrated form it has been going on for about a year. And if you enjoy that sort of thing, don't despair. Think of it as an irritating intermission, not a new era of good intentions and bipartisanship.

If politicians take a temporary time out from flailing government and those who serve it, enjoy. Because it probably won't last long. Even if your sole-source of news is right wing/left wing cable screamers, the reason for the upcoming rhetoric recess is obvious:

Understandably nervous politicians, who have been leading the charge against big brother, are hunkering down and demanding that the government get a little bigger, where they are concerned by being more proactive and protective wrapping them in 24/7 kevlar security blanket.

The area around Capitol Hill yesterday was a beehive of high-alert security activity as city, federal and transit police closed streets and tunnels checking out suspicious packages, threats etc.

In the wake of the tragic Saturday morning Arizona shootings, which included a member of Congress and a 9 year old girl, elected and appointed officials (from Congress to the Courts) are taking stock of their home/office security. And expecting the government to do more about it.

While politicians and the media focus on the "why" of the current tragedy there may be an unofficial truce in the war on bloated bureaucrats and the bloated bureaucracy. But it probably won't last long.

Consider:

In July, 1998, two members of the U.S. Capitol Police, Officer Jacob Chestnut and Detective John Gibson, were shot to death trying to prevent a gun-toting man from getting into the offices used by then Majority Whip Tom De Lay and Rep. Dennis Hastert who later would be Speaker of the House. The man who shot the officers and was himself shot was saved by a Tennessee heart surgeon turned Senator, Bill Frist of Tennessee.

Yet two years later the Majority Whip denounced federal agents as "jack-booted thugs" when, on orders of the court and the Attorney General, they returned a Miami-based boy to his grandparents in Cuba.

That's one of the problems when you work for government. While you are supposed to serve the people, you also must carry out laws made by politicians who, increasingly, think that anyone who disagrees with them is the enemy. So you can literally save their, uh, neck one day and then get it in the neck the next.

For a while, hate-fueled websites featuring photos of politicians symbolically inside the cross-hairs of a rifle scope are being retouched. And feds, especially those in law enforcement and security (unless they are found to have failed-to-connect-the-dots) may even be in for a run of, dare we say it, good will and good press.

Just don't get used to it because it definitely won't last.

To reach me: mcausey@federalnewsradio.com


Nearly Useless Factoid
by Suzanne Kubota

Round numbers encourage personal achievement. AOLNews reports two business professors, Devin Pope at the University of Chicago and Uri Simonsohn at the University of Pennsylvania, looked at batting averages and SAT scores and found that people work harder to achieve a goal with a round number. For that reason, suggests AOL, you might want to shoot for losing 10 pounds instead of 5 as a New Year's resolution.


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