Broken promises

Sigh. I realize that broken promises go with politicians like chocolate fudge goes with ice cream, but come on. It’s only been 25 days and seven promises from just this one speech have already gone by the wayside.

1. Make Government Open and Transparent
2. Make it “Impossible” for Congressmen to slip in Pork Barrel Projects
3. Meetings where laws are written will be more open to the public
4. No more secrecy
5. Public will have 5 days to look at a Bill
6. You’ll know what’s in it
7. We will put every pork barrel project online

Let’s see.

Impossible for pork to be slipped in? Almost the entire bill is pork! We’re told there are “no earmarks” in this bill, and that’s only because all the pet projects are just part of the bill and therefore no need to slip them in as earmarks. At least with earmarks, we’d be able to see who put each project in. But as it stands, we have no idea who is responsible for each of the “porky” projects. So while they’re telling us it’s more transparency, it’s actually much less.

No more secrecy? The bill was written with no Republican input, much less public input. The final negotiations took place behind closed doors, with Republicans completely shut out (including the three who had promised to vote for it). They didn’t have an “open” meeting until the negotiations were over.

Not only did the public not get access to the bill until the 11th hour, but Congress didn’t even have access to the final bill until just a few hours before they were expected to vote on it. There was no time to actually read it, and they didn’t get it in a web-based, searchable format, they got 8 inches of paper. Obama is set to sign it on Tuesday, the first business day after the House and Senate passed it.

So much for 5 days time for the public to review before it is signed into law, not to mention the 48 hours we were supposed to have to review before it was voted on.

And these are just the broken promises that are relevant to this one particular bill. We were promised a “new era of bipartisanship,” the “most ethical administration in history,” with “no lobbyists” in the administration.

What we got instead was Nancy Pelosi rewriting the rules of the House to bar the minority party from offering alternative bills, amendments to bills, or even having a guarantee of open debate.

What we got instead was one cabinet pick after another riddled by ethics issues.
Timothy Geithner, Treasury Secretary – nonpayment of taxes (confirmed anyway)
Tom Daschle, Head of HHS – nonpayment of taxes and conflict of interest (finally withdrew from consideration, but Obama was prepared to stand by him despite the fact that any other citizen with so much backtaxes owed would be in jail)
Bill Richardson – Commerce Secretary, withdrew when the fact that he was under investigation for ethics violations surfaced
Hilda Solis – tax issues & conflict of interest issues – confirmation hearings not yet complete
Nancy Killefer – “Performance Czar” (newly created position) – tax issues
Hillary Clinton – conflict of interest, confirmed anyway
David Ogden – Deputy Atty General, has defended the porn industry and opposed a law that would protect children from predators on the internet.

As for the “no lobbyists” rule? Instead, he started filing for exemptions almost as soon as the rule was passed. What’s the point in setting a standard if you have no intention of actually living up to it? Oh yeah, he’s hoping no one is paying attention.

The so-called most “ethical” administration ever has been a big disappointment so far, and it’s only been 25 days. It’s going to be a long four years.

Cross-posted at Eternal Vigilance.