The Obama Administration has begun to interfere with my credibility at home as the Man of the House. Every weekday evening, I have to suffer through an hour of my wife viewing Glenn Beck, and the hour is typically punctuated by my derisive comments about Beck’s various conspiracy theories. But as the administration gears up for its reelection campaign, it is condoning moves that make Beck look halfway sane. First there was the looney idea by the National Labor Relations Board to halt Boeing from opening a billion-dollar aircraft plant in a right-to-work state because that might undermine the bargaining position of strike-prone unions around Seattle. Now the White House has issued a draft executive order that would require federal agencies to track the political contributions of their contractors.
The latter measure is supposed to enhance “transparency and accountability” in federal contracting by discouraging political favoritism, but of course it would have precisely the opposite effect. Once you collect the information on all contributions totaling over $5,000 annually, what do you do with it? Of course, you pass it around to the political appointees overseeing the acquisition system, so they know which companies want them to keep their jobs and which are trying to help The Enemy. So what began as a bid for transparency would then open up any decision the political types make to suspicion that it was motivated by partisan considerations. In other words, the integrity of the process would be undermined rather than enhanced.
One of the best-kept secrets in the defense industry is how many senior executives are life-long Democrats — Progressives, if you’ll pardon the expression. These folks aren’t going to appreciate being “outed” by a President they supported so that some Republican political appointee in a future Huckabee Administration can launch the moral equivalent of an inquisition to weed out contractors whose views aren’t in tune with the Heartland. What was the White House thinking when it dreamed up this exercise in bureaucratic excess? And who vets these things to prevent right-wing conspiracy theorists from being fed more ammunition? I can’t wait to see how Glenn Beck connects the dots on his chalkboard.
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