Why some people – at least me (I, ?) – get mad at the government

Michele Leohart is an administrator in the DEA and, maybe, she is stoned and that is her excuse for her ridiculous answers. But I doubt it, I think the real reason is the Washington culture that actually prevents honesty and introspection. In this case, thanks to Congressman Jared Polis for doing what our Congresspeople should actually be doing.

One thought on “Why some people – at least me (I, ?) – get mad at the government

  1. I’m confused by this post. You say that this makes you mad at government. What I see (and you acknowledge) is an elected representative from one branch (Congress), pressing on someone from another (Executive) in the sort of dialog that our three branch system of government is designed to promote. Is the DEA rep. doing a poor job? Sure. But it seems a bit extreme to get at the entire notion of government because someone does a poor job, especially when the system of checks and balances is doing its job.

    I also don’t understand why it is only Washington culture that prevents honesty and introspection. I think those are great virtues. I also think they are lacking in many, perhaps even most, large institutions (everyone testifying before Congress – whether from the government or the private sector works to stick to their talking points as the DEA rep. is doing; a difference, though, is that the private sector reps spend countless hours beforehand being coached by lobbyists and lawyers charging way more than any government agency could ever afford). I dont see much honesty and introspection in the banking industry, or elsewhere in the private sector. By singling out government, the post implies that government, and not big institutions generally, and not the decline of social forces that promote honesty and introspection, is the problem. While government has its share of problems, I think it is (by dint of the weaknesses of the other options out there) perhaps the best option we have to promote honesty and introspection. And that is exactly what Rep. Polis is doing.

    I get mad at government for not doing more of what Polis is doing and not doing more to call the private sector on the carpet for its misdeeds. However misguided the DEA’s policy is (and it is a policy dictated to them by the people we have elected to Congress), it is not hurting nearly as many people as are the countless parts of the private sector capitalizing on public resources such as our air, water, and health without cost or accountability. I think that calling attention to the poor performance of one bureaucrat and making her the standard bearer of “the government” without acknowledging that its the same thing that folks in the private sector would do is a distraction from the discussion we need to be having about the need for government to be doing more to stop (1) the ongoing privatization of social and environmental capital and (2) the concentration of that capital in the hands of the .01%.

    End rant.

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