Did you know there is an Office of Government Ethics in Washington, DC?
They even have a worthy mission statement…
“The mission of the U.S. Office of Government Ethics (OGE) is to foster high ethical standards for executive branch employees and strengthen the public’s confidence that the Government’s business is conducted with impartiality and integrity.”
I wonder what they’ve been up to lately? The IRS is having some huge problems with impartiality, the Justice Department must have forgotten what integrity means and the State Department has failed miserably at protecting us from our enemies. Maybe it’s time for the OGE to get in touch with these departments for some remedial training. They might want to start by reviewing the Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch that President Bush instituted way back in 1989 and were later codified in 1993 under President Clinton. That’s right, two different Presidents from two different parties believed that ethical conduct was critical to the function of government.
What the heck happened? Could it be that politics got in the way of good governance or was there secretly a statute of limitations that ran out after 20 years? I can certainly see where the Sunset Law might come in handy where ethics are concerned. They are pesky things to work around and they almost always interfere with the real business of government, reelection. But if there was a time limit on this Code of Conduct then how come the OGE still exists? It has always amazed me that once a federal department or agency has been funded it never goes away, no matter how little impact it makes. I personally think the OGE is an agency we desperately need in Washington but maybe it’s time to review its own Code of Conduct. Oh wait, they have the same one as all the other executive branch departments. The same one they are responsible for overseeing among all the other departments. If this keeps up the USPS is going to start looking like a veritable gold mine of government efficiency.
Now I need to be fair here so let me be clear, I have no confidence in our Government’s ability to function with impartiality and integrity and that includes Democrats and Republicans alike. Does anybody else but me find it incredibly ironic that these two groups are defined as PARTIES? The first definition of party is this: a social gathering, as of invited guests at a private home, for conversation, refreshments, entertainment, etc. The literal meaning of the word party has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the function of government and yet we have allowed these two groups to hijack our nation’s capital for their own selfish interests and the pursuit of wealth and power.
Now here’s the hard part. We the people have no one to blame but us. That’s just how a democracy works. When we finally get inspired to make the changes that are really necessary to clean up Washington and do the dirty work that comes with it, then we can reasonably expect a better outcome. Until that day comes, “Came to do good, stayed to do well” is our new mission statement for the OGE. At least this one is truthful. That’s a start.
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