July 7, 2010

...And Now You Don't!

Hatched by Dafydd

I began yesterday's lone post with this preamble:

The first clue that a new governmental policy is boneheaded is that the promulgating administration instantly attempts to "clarify" its pronunciamento.

The decision to prevent access by Transportation Security Administration (TSA) employees to various categories of website, one of which comprised those with "controversial opinion," was simultaneously so tendentious and so risible that I fully expected a speedy withdrawal.

Alas, I blinked, and I missed it:

After intense media scrutiny, the Transportation Security Administration on Tuesday backed off a new policy that would have restricted employees from visiting "controversial opinion" sites at work.

Employees at the TSA were initially informed last Friday that five categories of websites would be blocked on internal computers. They included: chat/messaging, criminal activity, extreme violence and gruesome content, gaming and controversial opinion.

But following questions about how broadly the last category would be interpreted, the TSA sent around an e-mail to employees on Tuesday saying "controversial opinion" sites would not be blocked.

So a policy that was likely implemented after months of discussion and planning, amid what one would expect to include numerous findings of fact and policy, and touted as a necessary measure to eliminate "increased security risk," is promulgated on a Friday -- then partially voided four days later, in response to "intense media scrutiny!"

Can there be any clearer admission, short of outright confession and penance, that adding sites containing "controversial opinion" to the banned list was purely political, never related to actual security concerns?

The TSA, likely at the direction of Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, tries to sneak through a provision to stop employees from viewing sites that pay insufficient homage to the settled questions of the liberal Vision. Had it worked, I'm sure the same orders would have been issued to every other federal agency, administration, and department in the federal government, and might become the basis for many left-leaning states to follow suit.

Instead, such bastions of conservatism as CBS News pick up the story and run it, quite properly, as a massive assault on freedom of speech. So the Obama administration sheepishly draws back a stump and utters an Emily-Litella-esque, "Never mind!"

The Barack H. Obama administration, far from being "post-partisan," is the most intensely partisan and politicized administration in my lifetime, possibly in the entire twentieth and twenty-first centuries. At least the ultra-liberal Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt, and Richard Nixon administrations had occasional real-world problems that they had to deal with, and did so on the basis of reality and pragmatism. By contrast, I don't believe the Obamunists have made a single decision, drafted a single policy, or made a single, cynical appointment, with any thought in mind other than how it would play politically.

That is a breathtaking record that likely won't be repeated before I leave this planet (one way or another).

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, July 7, 2010, at the time of 1:59 PM

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