Reagan famously stated that government was not the solution, government was the problem (while simultaneously growing government at unprecedented rates). But I’ve always thought that the reason Republicans believe government is always the problem is because they don’t know how to govern. Of course, there is an alternative theory that they want to prove that government is incompetent by purposely making it as incompetent as they can.
Regardless of which of these theories you might subscribe to, you couldn’t pick a better example of it than the recent oil spill in the gulf. After all, it was just two years ago that a major scandal was uncovered in the very group charged with overseeing safety in oil drilling, the Minerals Management Service. As Robert F. Kennedy Jr. points out, the Bush administration (especially Dick Cheney) seems to have purposely tried to destroy the MMS by filling it with the shadiest characters one can imagine. Personnel in the MMS were dealing cocaine and other drugs, had sex with (including orgies) and accepted lavish gifts from people in the companies they were supposed to be regulating, and steered government contracts to companies they owned on the side.
At the same time, the MMS gutted safety regulations, including removing requirements for safety equipment that more than likely would have prevented the huge gulf oil spill.
“the reason Republicans believe government is always the problem is because they don’t know how to govern… [and so] they want to prove that government is incompetent by purposely making it as incompetent as they can.”
i think it’s both… 🙂
I’ve long subscribed to the alternative theory that they make government as incompetent as possible. I think the last 25 years of heavy Republican influence in either of the three branches has allowed a whacko group like the Tea Party to have traction. Not everybody would belong to the Tea Party but most of us think government is dysfunctional.
I just wish the hell the Republicans would get out of the way and let the adults run things for awhile.
I think to study the matter further, we should look to see how Republicans have done in the private sector. If Republicans intentionally or unintentionally make government incompetent, then when they go into the private sector, those businesses should be very efficiently operated. Large corporations operate very much like government. Indeed, in my observations, there is more bureaucracy at IBM then at the CDC (which is disturbing in its own way). Does anyone know of a list of former Republican politicians/political appointees who subsequently went on to run large corporate businesses?