What I want to know is: if there is nothing wrong with discussing “alternative paths to service” with Senate candidates, then why is Rod Blagojevich going to jail?
The irony of another White House election tampering case revealed on the eve of the former Illinois Governor’s corruption trial is too rich to let pass without comment.
Some will argue that the cases are not comparable; but others will see them as minor variations on the same theme. Blago offered a job in exchange for a personal favor, and so did the President; the only difference is the favors demanded in trade.
Blagojevich sought cash, the President something even more valuable to him, a Senator’s future votes. It is not clear why we would consider the former more toxic than the latter in terms of their corrupting influence on our system of representative government.
Now, in the grander scheme of things, White House meddling in partisan primary campaigns is hardly newsworthy. No one should be shocked when politicians do politics, and we certainly have several much bigger fish to fry. Chances are whatever happened is legal, since the laws are written by people who do things like this.
But the election tampering revelations do serve one important purpose, namely debunking the myth that those who occupy the top positions in government are selected on merit and qualification. Move over, Tooth Fairy and Easter Bunny, another imaginary friend is coming to join you in the discard pile.
The Statists’ argument for big government rests on the premise that a complex modern society can and must be regulated by an elite directorship whose superior intellect, character, judgment, and expertise make them better qualified to make choices for us than we are to make them for ourselves.
But Sestak and Romanoff were not recruited for their intellect, character, judgment, or expertise; they were an object of trade, a commodity. Their singular qualification was a partisan political advantage for the President if they took the job.
The top 3,000 positions in government are filled by Presidential appointment, and we have just been treated to a rare glimpse into that process – an unintended transparency in an administration that has promised us much and delivered little in that regard.
It should now be apparent to all of us why government is so reliably inept, petty, and frivolous. It is being run by two kinds of people unfit to serve: those who would make the offer in the first place, and those who take the deal.
Any system which can only work if angels run it will fail miserably with mere mortals at the controls. We are watching the mortals make a mess of it on a daily basis.
Moment Of Clarity” is a weekly commentary by Libertarian writer and speaker Tim Nerenz, Ph.D. Visit Tim’s website www.timnerenz.com to find your moment.