Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Not Exactly A Book Review... "Undemocratic: How Unelected, Unaccountable Bureaucrats Are Stealing Your Liberty and Freedom" by Jay Sekulow

This might be the most important book of its era. In all the lib vs. con, left vs. right, D vs. R chatter, it is easy to miss the big picture. Prior to the rise of the Tea Party movement, the primacy of bureaucracy was rarely, if ever, challenged.

For years I thought of my high school education as a waste of time. As time passed, I realize I learned a few things that have stayed with me. We were required to take a Government class and this course was usually taught by a coach who viewed teaching as a sideline. My instructor seemed like a bit of a dolt. Yet, I will say that he was insightful if not colorful.

My high school teacher hammered home the three branches of government in mind-numbing detail. He also talked about "the fourth branch of government." He was matter of fact about it. It wasn't a warning and there wasn't any disapproval. "Some people say that federal bureaucracy has become the fourth branch of government." My high school teacher was ahead of his time in his observations.

The Reagan/Bush administrations never challenged the bureaucratic leviathan. They embraced and fed and nurtured the monster. It was hoped by many of us that the stuff of legend 1994 elections would usher in a new challenge to the Beltway cartel. No such luck. The reason the Republicans were so aggressive in publicizing Bill Clinton's sex life was because they were unwilling to engage him in matters of policy. Lacking the fortitude to wage a battle of substance, they turned instead to the politics of personal destruction.

Then we had another Bush era and even more bureaucracy. The absurd idea that replacing lesbians with nominal Christians atop agency pyramids would somehow bring forth a golden dawn was ultimately discredited. The GOP saw the alphabet soup of agencies as a plum orchard for people descended from Republican generals and siblings of press secretaries.

The Tea Party movement brought forth a rethinking of just about everything including the role and reach of bureaucratic agencies. At long last a bipartisan political class was identified and discussed. What took us so long?

"Undemocratic: How Unelected, Unaccountable Bureaucrats Are Stealing Your Liberty and Freedom" is a long overdue analysis of the elephant in every room. Sekulow delivers a concise overture of the multiphasic, polytiered problematic problem.

Frustratingly, we have to be reminded that our forefathers did not make provisions for FEC, NLRB, EPA, FTC, HHS, ad infinitum to write and impose and enforce law. We might not care about such philosophical fine points if bureaucracy did not fail so consistently. Witness the Veterans Administration.

Sekulow details the hows and whys of the ongoing VA fiasco. Veterans die awaiting treatment because it is easier to doctor paperwork than to doctor patients. It is the nature of bureaucracy. Boxcars don't fly and switching Shinsekis won't change that one iota. Despite its legacy of failure, the VA's problems were swept even farther under the rug by the Obama Administration because they used the agency's blue chip reputation as a model for Obamacare.

So we have a new branch of government that is illegitimate and wastes our money? Is that the worst of it? No. Not by a long shot. Federal workers are unionized. They are hyper-partisan. They have been weaponized.

Sekulow details the near impossibility of firing a federal bureaucrat. Having worked for the IRS in the late 70's and early 80's Sekulow insists there was no visible partisanship in his day. That has changed. Not only do we employ an army of Lois Lerner's, the unions and their members donate overwhelmingly to the Democratic Party. Even the Department of Defense employees donate to Democrats by about a two to one margin.

Some of us are given to rebuking other political camps for underestimating the evil and the threat posed by jihadists. That's easy to understand but some of our political allies underestimate the evil that rests in many a bureaucratic heart. For instance, Sekulow reveals a group that has been targeted by the IRS for enhanced scrutiny? Who might that be? Dark PAC's? Providers of material support for ISIS? Illegal aliens?

No, the group in question is adoptive parents. Why adoptive parents? According to Sekulow it's because the IRS has figured out that Evangelical Christians are more likely to adopt children than non-Evangelicals. That is just plain wrong on so many levels for so many reasons. Mike Huckabee called the jailing of Wendy Davis the criminalization of Christianity. Had the governor read Sekulow's book he would have learned that the war on Christians is old news.

I consider myself fairly well-informed and the revelations about "sue and settle" made my jaw drop. If the Obama Justice Department deliberately loses to sympathetic plaintiffs who happen to be political donors, does that not constitute graft? It is corruption if not criminal corruption.

Sekulow has keenly identified the greatest threat to our republic. I could not give a higher recommendation for "Undemocratic..." Read it!