Has the American government gone wild? If not, it sure seems to have gone nuts. One would certainly glean that impression from the recent news reports. As soon as we started to digest the noisome sight of government employees at a Las Vegas bacchanal, we are greeted with the concupiscence in Cartagena – the very secret service mission with prostitutes in Colombia. What's going on here?
In a refutation of the adage that "what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas," the party habits of our intrepid General Services Administration public servants went viral across the globe. As our nation wallows in debt and our citizenry struggles to find gas money to get to work, the agency charged with stewardship over our nation's common assets was busy spending $823,000 on a conference in Sin City. As if that were not bad enough, puerile staff imbeciles drawing paychecks from Uncle Sam were churning out boneheaded rap videos highlighting just how arrogant the federal bureaucracy has become. No doubt the same rap star cretins dancing their way through the GSA offices, barking like hyenas, spent the rest of that day lording their power over some poor citizen seeking their noblesse oblige to earn a living.
It's not the first time the GSA has known scandal. Unfortunately, the last time the agency known as the government's landlord made it into the headlines, it involved my lobbying scandal. One of my best friends was the then-chief of staff of the General Services Administration. David Safavian was a smart and gregarious political leader. I worked with him in the early days of my lobbying career, before he returned to Capitol Hill to serve as chief of staff for former Utah Rep. Chris Cannon.
Advertisement - story continues below
When David was considering leaving Congress, I tried to lure him back to my lobbying firm, but he chose, instead, to remain in government service at the GSA. Our friendship continued, and, when I put together a summer golf trip to Scotland, I invited David. He paid the full amount we requested for the trip from his personal account, and off we went. That trip would be David's downfall.
Though he paid his own way, at least in the amount we requested he pay, when he was later indicted, the government claimed he lied about my relationship to the GSA – saying that I had no business before his agency. He was dragged through two trials, convicted and today sits in a federal prison far from his family and home. David Safavian didn't spend $823,000 on a Las Vegas party. He didn't spend any government money on our trip to Scotland. He didn't make outrageous rap videos debasing himself and his nation. But in prison he sits. One can only imagine where the GSA rappers will be in a few years.
At least they kept their clothes on, or so we think. That cannot be said for the Secret Service agents guarding our president. Sent to prepare for Obama's arrival in Cartagena, Colombia, they really went wild – ordering prostitutes like they were pan pizzas. The sybaritic servicemen saw their hedonistic pleasure tour undone when one of their clan refused to pay his coquette for her services. This frugal approach brought the local police down on the gang and bought them a ticket back to the states and a daylong visit to Secret Service headquarters for interrogation. Eleven agents and supervisors participated in this lurid tale, and we have certainly not heard the last of this, as the stalwart congressman from New York, Peter King, is investigating. He is no fool, and this will not be pretty.
So, what is going on with our government officials? Sure, it's not all of them, but I know I'm not the only citizen who suspects there is more perfidy than we know in official Washington. What drives GSA employees to spend our money as if it were their own? What causes our Secret Service agents – the most trusted of our government officials – to act like libidinous frat boys? The same thing that leads any of our bureaucrats to act with supercilious impunity: power.
Advertisement - story continues below
The federal government of the United States has spent almost a century grabbing power from the American people. Naturally its employees act in a haughty fashion. The entire enterprise has become an exercise in arrogance. For decades liberals have been hypnotizing America to believe that the rich are evil and the federal government is our agent to appropriate all they see. Is it really a surprise that government thugs feel entitled to have a little fun at our expense?
It's likely that the GSA party crowd and the Secret Service Johns will face the music from the Obama administration. The problem is that their federal employee comrades who abuse our property and assets in a less egregious and more discreet way are unlikely to attract any attention, let alone censure. They might not be availing themselves of Vegas or streetwalkers, but is their power grab really any less threatening to our republic?