“The City of No Consequences”Commentary by Allen B. West
April 28, 2015
Last week I visited Washington, D.C. for some meetings. As I flew into Reagan National Airport we took the flight path that brings you over the city from the northwest. Out of my window I was able to take in the magnificent view looking along the National Mall from the Lincoln Memorial to the U.S. Capitol Building. As a retired soldier, it gives me great pride knowing that those symbols of liberty, freedom and democracy were defended by the service, sacrifice, and commitment of our service members.
Then reality sets in as I pondered what this great city has become. Fox News Host Greta Van Susteren once referred to Washington, D.C. as “The City of No Consequences” – and sadly I must concur.
The capital city of our constitutional republic seems to be less of what our founding fathers intended and more of what the “arrogance of officialdom” has created. The difference is that with the advent of the 24 hour news cycle and the ability to tape, record and archive statements, the average American has an unprecedented access to the dealings of their federal elected representatives. Who would have ever thought that a cable station known as C-SPAN would become so very popular – giving the American people a clear window into the everyday actions of their federal representatives in the U.S. House and Senate.
And with the plethora of news media and reporters we are constantly kept apprised of almost every action coming from the White House through every single government agency. The truth is before us all – the question is, why do we accept what we know is abhorrent behavior?
Consider The Washington Post’s Glenn Kessler and his fact checking apparatus and the countless times that the President of the United States has received the infamous “Pinocchio” award. One would think that the nation’s highest office would seek to be above reproach when it comes to its level of veracity. This past week was the 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide by the Ottoman Empire, something that the current President stated while campaigning in 2008 that he would recognize. He still does not.
I could go into several contradictions of the U.S. Constitution such as Article I, Section 8, Clauses 4 and 11. Al Qaeda is certainly not decimated nor on the run. We have found out that the Islamic State is not the “jayvee” team. But where are the consequences?
Eric Holder just departed the attorney general’s position, one where he stated that America was a “nation of cowards.” He also admitted to his goal of being a social activist while heading the U.S. Department of Justice. And he departed with no accountability or responsibility for Operation Fast and Furious – and few Americans probably remember U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry. Holder left with accolades – but where are the consequences?
His replacement stated that illegal immigrants, (sorry that I do not use the PC lexicon of “undocumented workers”), have the right to work and have jobs in America. So much for the almost 93 million Americans out of work and that have been dropped from the accountability rolls. Our workforce participation rate is at a 37 year low at 62.7% – but where are the consequences?
Former Army officer and Procter & Gamble CEO Robert McDonald was brought in to rectify the problems in the Veterans Administration. If there is one group that is deserving of the best care and honor from this nation, it is those who have been willing to make the “last full measure of devotion.” Recent revelations have proven that very few, if anyone, has been held accountable for the despicable treatment imparted upon our veterans. And the whole “Choice Act” and subsequent Choice Card has just turned out to be another Washington, D.C. beltway two-step as our veterans are stymied from being able to use the card and have a choice. But where are the consequences?
And what of former Internal Revenue Service employee Lois Lerner? Will we ever know the truth about her involvement in the scandal of targeting conservative grassroots organizations? Probably not, but her consequence is that she has a nice six figure taxpayer funded pension being deposited into her bank account. We must ask ourselves, what are the consequences for the countless federal government employees who owe back taxes while they draw paychecks based upon the taxes of the American people?
Consider the hypocrisy of the ease by which “pink slips” are issued to our men and women in the military – to include those serving in combat zones – while the former director of the Drug Enforcement Agency states that she does not have the power to terminate any agents involved in the recent sex party escapade of her agency.
It seems that honorable service in combat is met with termination of service, while dishonorable actions in government are deemed part of the status quo. The consequences of desertion is that in the city of no consequences you are viewed as serving with honor and distinction – while those who face the enemy face the consequence of imprisonment in Ft. Leavenworth, as in the case of Army LT Clint Lorance.
What are the consequences of lying on the Senate floor when addressing the tax filing of your political opposition? According to former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid it is simple, Mitt Romney lost – and upon retirement Reid will get a nice taxpayer funded pension.
Then again, in the city of no consequences, you can abandon Americans to die, create a false narrative about the issue, put all your official email correspondence on a private server, and then wipe clean the private server that was in your private residence guarded by taxpayer funded Secret Service agents – and just walk away stating, “what difference at this point does it make?” And, then run for president.
In conclusion, Washington, D.C. is an impressive city externally. It is a city where the American people can have a hands on experience with the fundamental principles and values of the greatest nation in the world. Sadly, it is being fundamentally transformed into the “City of No Consequences.”