National Review Online is reporting the story—complete with links to several previous reports—but for some reason, I haven’t yet heard it break on the major networks. Now that may be because I use CNN as my main source of news. But in any event, much of it appears lost on the world.
My main gripe has to do with how quickly this shows the President began breaking campaign promises after taking office.
Now we all know about the challenges he’s had keeping promises of transparency, for example, beginning just months into his presidency.
Whether we’re talking about creating Obamacare behind closed doors or the TARP and other bailouts. In some cases, opposition members of Congress (and we the people as well) weren’t offered so much as a lunch break to review legislation before it was voted through. He clearly ignored his promises. All people who can be honest, non-partisan, and objective should be able to see that clearly.
But the Solyndra problem presents even more cause for concern. Apparently, within days of taking office, he was pushing the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) hard to approve this loan. By all accounts, the deal was politically driven–a way to allow Joe Biden to grandstand about all the great things they were accomplishing.
If they’d only govern, and quit worrying about how great (or bad) they look, politicians might just begin to get some things done.
But as the truth behind this scandal begins to emerge, though the Bush administration passed for whatever reasons, Obama apparently felt a need to repay someone’s extreme campaign generosity. (Don’t we call that influence peddling?)
You could almost characterize it as naive, if during the President’s campaign, he hadn’t knowingly and consistently hammered down against such practices.
OK, Ok. But everyone does it, right?
And that’s just the problem. We haven’t had an honest politician in the Presidency for years. And I have to say that even the much revered Ronald Reagan took advantage of the office in ways that were less than honorable.
But isn’t that the way it’s supposed to be?
In a word, no.
When George Washington was given the presidency, he was very careful about every move, apparently realizing more than most, how influential the precedents he set would be with future generations.
Unfortunately, his respect for the office didn’t carry over to future officeholders the way he’d hoped.
Are you aware that he refused to directly interact with or lobby Congress in any manner? To his mind, the reason was simple. And it pointed directly back to arguments he had witnessed through those long, sweltering summer debates of the constitutional convention.
In essence, separation of powers was not just a nice idea, it was a sacred, hallowed principle that he regarded with the highest esteem. He wasn’t about to breach that trust.
That’s, of course, in stark contrast to politicians of today.
Indeed, separation of powers was viewed as the core basis for the long-term survival of the new government. And we can certainly see, that after years of cronyism and influence peddling (at the federal level) exercising its hegemony, we have been deeply foolish to ignore this principle.
But more to the point, we see that there are few, if any, politicians who are willing to be honorable in the pursuit of high office, or in the holding of it thereafter.
When the pundits and cynics of today say that we should “just get rid of them all” (meaning politicians), maybe they’re not too far off the mark.
As we prepare for another presidential election, it is our duty as neighbors and members of the community to educate others. But remember that persuasion has a much better chance through friendly discourse.
And we must remember that those who founded our government not only warned against these kinds of folly, but exercised their own diligence against it, notwithstanding a few spectacular failures.
But at least they were sincere in their good intentions.
That’s more than I can say for many of our candidates today.