According to Washington Post editorial page editor Fred Hiatt, the federal government is a “national treasure” and President Trump is wrong to call it a “swamp.”
“It was never a swamp, OK?” Hiatt begins his piece. “But now, given President Donald Trump’s contempt for the federal government and the political polarization that could engulf the civil service, we’re in danger of losing a national treasure.”
“Because make no mistake: The federal government has been a national treasure,” Hiatt doubles down.
Hearing someone praise the bloated and corrupt federal government as a national treasure elicits a response that is best exampled in that phone call from A Christmas Story after Ralphie rats out his friend for teaching him the F-dash-dash-dash word:
But somehow, Hiatt is able to do it with a straight face:
For all our whingeing and whining, our lame jokes about lazy bureaucrats, our paranoia about jackboots and J. Edgar, Americans have been exceedingly fortunate in their public servants.
Not that the federal workforce is without flaws, and not that the United States is unique. But anyone who has lived overseas comes to appreciate tax collectors who do their jobs without a hint of corruption; national park rangers who are unfailingly cheerful and well-informed; public-health workers who speed to the epicenter of a gathering epidemic. These are the women and men who protect the country, help us recover from hurricanes, send astronauts into space and make sure we get our Social Security checks on time.
Sure, we definitely do it better than other countries, but “tax collectors who do their jobs without a hint of corruption?” Has Hiatt forgotten about the IRS targeting conservative groups already? It hasn’t been that long.
“Ah, I hear you say, the swamp is bigger than just the government; it’s the whole mess of influence peddlers, politicians and bureaucrats working together,” Hiatt continues. “To which I would answer, no, not really a swamp either. Most lobbyists are honorable people who believe in credit unions, nuclear power, children’s health programs or whatever interest on behalf of which they exercise their constitutionally protected right to lobby.”
Okay, so now we now Hiatt is completely out of his mind.
He spends the rest of his piece attacking Trump for taking out the D.C. trash and uses The Post’s numbers to show how much “damage” the president has inflicted upon his favorite institution. Yet, he assures that all is not lost, but not without some good old fashioned media doom and gloom:
This is a treasure that has not yet been lost. But it’s easy to see that, like so much else we have taken for granted, like the United States’ position of leadership in the world, it would be far easier to destroy than to rebuild.
Poor Hiatt doesn’t realize that he's a part of the swamp that needs draining, too. He’s just too busy atop his high horse to notice.