Bureaucratic Patronage and the Administrative State

As a GOP precinct committeeman, I have the privilege of meeting a host of folks from all walks of life who have a common distaste for the growth of government into its current administrative apparatus. Elected officials from both parties seem to be far more interested in patronage to special interests who seek “public” money and increased power in the administration of so-called laws. Republicans are hardly immune to this, as the cancer has spread wherever patronage is expected. I’m seeing a growing faction within the GOP, in Idaho at least, where folks are really fed up.

I’m involved in local politics because I think it’s the last defense against the all-encroaching administrative apparatus, but even here you can find the descent from statesman who once served the common good through wise, simple legislation, to the CEO types who convince the electorate that they can rightly administer the growing and complex nature of city, county, and state government. The fact that Mitt Romney ran as “Mr. Fix It” underscores just how far we’ve come. It can be argued that the president, alone, is unable to handle efficient administration of the government. One needs to look no further than Obama’s seeming ignorance of problems that preceded the launch of the health care website. Obama pleads ignorance, Congress holds hearings where the contractors plead ignorance, and, well, the people suffer.

Another failure of the administrative state is the ill-fated attack on our embassy in Benghazi. I don’t pretend to know what all precipitated the attack, but our administration pretended to know immediately following the attack, projecting a hubris of competence and omniscience. Well, it didn’t take long before their airtight narrative about some video was proven to be a facade. Laying aside the more sinister speculations on Benghazi, it appears, at the very least, to have been a failure of proper administration – negligence to repeated requests for more security. Again, it is a dangerous thing to entrust one’s soul and well-being to the administrative state that lacks the omniscience and omnipotence required to fulfill their promises.

So long as bureaucratic patronage remains part of the political game, we will see the continued growth of this administrative state, where unelected czars, government departments heads, corporate interests, and swaths of collectivist interests have a hand in the sausage making.

© 2013, Rick Hogaboam. All rights reserved.

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