I worked in Federal employment for 29 ½ years, finally taking an early out offer of the sort that the government made then – essentially allowed to retire 6 months early. Certainly no bonus was involved. The idea was that I would work at some writing, give my wife more time to do her job teaching engineers and premeds, and maybe do some research – and have a parent at home most of the time as our daughter entered high school. It didn’t quite work out that way, but that’s besides the point. Nor, for that matter, did I set out to be a bureaucrat – back in the long ago, doors to other careers slammed shut, sometimes by my folly, sometimes by other folks, sometimes because of the times. Water, bridge.
Federal employment had drawbacks and advantages, much as do other fields. It’s a bit amusing these days to read from some self-defined ‘conservatives’ vituperation heaped on public sector workers that is really quite like the vituperation that self-defined ‘progressives’ apply to “capitalists.’ Neither of it is very realistic. But in those years, I was ashamed of working for Uncle precisely once:
This application of wholly unnecessary police power upon someone who wished only to live in freedom was far decency the boundaries of decency. One can, I suppose, debate the Clinton Administration’s policy in re Elian: what appalled me was the application of force. It still does.
Now this event revived that sense of indecency:
As time passes, and it becomes ever more clear that the Administration knew from the outset that the attack on the American Consulate was a planned terrorist attack, the effort to scapegoat anyone however much a mope he might be is ever more appalling. As evidence accumulates, it becomes ever more obvious that something happened that is unprecedented in my experience – Americans were left to die when help was possible and (relatively) immediately available. But while the growing body of evidence has its own fascination, the sheer, deliberate, deceitful effort to direct attention away from the real causes and toward someone entirely irrelevant, is appalling. And indecent.
This was, keep in mind, a President who came in to office promising to do things differently.