The title of this post is a quote from Robert Heinlein's The Notebooks of Lazarus Long, and it is echoed by Brit Phil B's essay from last week, specifically this bit:
You must understand the nature of the Politicians, Quangos (Quasi Autonomous Non Governmental Organisations) and the Civil Service (which is neither civil or a servant but a Master). Ministers come and go and are briefed by the civil servants but it is the Civil Service which effectively runs the country.RedState expands on a memo released by the US Office of Personnel Management yesterday, explaining:
Obama Administration Intends to Purge Republicans From the Civil ServiceMy favorite quote from the memo:
It is a typical Washington process that many political appointees are able to take jobs within the civil service once their political appointment expires — usually at the conclusion of one administration. What often happens as well is Congressional staffers, before an election or shortly thereafter, will move over to the Executive Branch placed into the civil service, in effect, by appointment.
So, for example, when George Bush became President in 2001, a number of Clinton political appointees became civil service employees. As a result, they became subject to civil service hiring and firing rules, which meant they could no longer be replaced simply for having been a Democratic appointee.
Barack Obama is changing that. He intends to purge all Republicans from the federal bureaucracy retroactive to five years ago.
I believe we must hold ourselves and the government to a higher standard, one that honors and supports the President’s strong commitment to a Government that is transparent and open.War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength, Indecision is Statesmanship, and Transparency is Opacity. So far I haven't seen Obama show a "strong commitment" to anything other than getting elected. But he apparently deeply understands how to manipulate the levers of power.