Archive for September, 2006
“For the Party’s sake you can and MUST at 24 hours’ notice change all your convictions and force yourself to believe that white is black.”
A Catholic cardinal was asked how he would reply if hte Poper told him to believe taht two plus two is five. The cardinal replied, “I would ask him, ‘Your Holiness, would you prefer that it be SIX?”
Aleksander Solzhenitsyn had plenty of personal experience with KGB “interrogations.” They lasted for hours every day for days on end. Solzhenitsyn knew hundreds of others who had been through what the KGB called interrogations.
It takes a cold-blooded bastard like me to think of an obvious question:
Why did the KGB BOTHER with “interrogations?” Why didn’t it just make up whatever it wanted the person to have said and put it down in the records? The reason was that what the KGB was doing had nothing to do with interrogation. They were not seeking information.
KGB actuallly did these things precisely so that Solzhenitsyn and his fellow Gulag residents and all potential stoolies would hear about them…They would literally step on a man’s testicles and crush them.
John McCain openly admits he was a stoolie in the Vietnam “interrogations” he got a solver start for resisting.
But stoolies weren’t there to give real information. They were there to give out information that could be used against other prisoners in order to get what the “interrogation” WANTED to get.
In America, the police get rough only when they are no longer looking for information. In the real world, a copy does not get paid to find out the truth. In the real world, a cop gets paid for closing cases.
Over and over and over big-time lawyers shock law students by laughing and telling them that being a lawyer has absolutely nothing to do with justice. You win cases. Period.
Lawyers and cops get rough when they need their victim to say what they need said. These are NOT interrogations.
I have a major problem with the fact that the points I most desperately want you to absord sound like jokes. So let me tell you why there are so few interrogators like me. I will start by reminding you how to get into “intelligence” work. In order to get into intelligence work you needed an Ivy League degree. You also needed to get along iwth the other Ivy Leaguers.
These were people who saw no difference between Communism and the West except that the Communists were more idealistic.
So how did I get into any of this crap? Once again, the truth sounds like an old joke:
A con man taught his son all about how to lie, cheat and steal. One day the kid asked him, “Papa, is there ever a time when you just tellthe TRUTH?” HIs old man was shocked, but he gave it some thought. Finally he replied, “Well, son, in a real pinch ANY gimmick will do.”
So how did I get into ANY of this stuff? Very rarely and ONLY in a pinch. Not only did I not make it into the big time, my intelligence work COST me money.
When was Ic alled in as an interrogator? ONLY on the rare occasions when someone needed a real interrogation. Sometimes things get desperate and someone higher up is in a position where they cannot afford to turn things over to the intelligence bureaucracy.
There ARE cases when you need a real interrogation. At some point, admittedly in rare cases, you need to go beyond the general questioning and get deadly serious. You need INFORMATION, not confessions.
Let me give ONE quick example. When police are looking for a confession, they try to keep the suspects seprate so they cannot concoct a story to get around what
the police are looking for and what the suspects know the police are looking for. After all, this is a game. Remember, nobody is looking for INFORMATION. The so-called interrogation is to make suspects say what you need them to say to close the case.
If you are not looking to do anything to the people you are questioning, when you need INFORMATION, you normallly give them plenty of time togather. This is precisely because people are used to the idea that an interrogration is NOT an interrogration. So they wil discuss what it is that you are trying to get them to say, what it is they are “in” for, and it will never occur to them that you have no interest inthat whatsoever.
If you’re good at this, it is hilarious to listen to them try desperately to avoid certain subjects. You know EXACTLY what they have decided the whole thing is about. You watch them dodge subjects so obviously that it is funny while they try desperately to be Shrewd.
On Capitol Hil, I alwasy thanked God for the fact that everyone thought anybody witha Southern accent was a dolt. In a serious interrogation, where peoples’ lives depended on getting it RIGHT, I thanked God for the general impression of what an “interrogration” is. The person you are questioning is almost tearfully relieved when he gets to talk about something besides whatver he think he needs to be Shrewd about. You can play him like a violin: you make his trings taut by hovering around whatever it is he thinks he’s there about.
So when it seems like you are just talking about htings in general, he is so relieved he talks freely.
It never occurs to these people that you have not hte slightest interest in THEM at all. What you are looking for is those bursts of relieved frankness where he tells you everything he can think of. He is trying desperately to keep this terrible Interrogrator off of The Subject, which he assumes is him.
I have never bullied ANYBODY since before I reached age thirteen. I have never even froced someone to say what he does not want to say.
I am not Shrewd. The only way I can SOUND honest is by BEING honest. People can see through me when I make a pathetic attempt to be tricky, and I have known that since grade school. But I am AWFULLY good at LISTENING. The only way I know to find out the TRUTH is to listen carefully.
This is what real interrogration, the pursuit of genuine INFORMATION, is all about. Only in very rare cases is it necessary.
Maybe I am wrong to call myself a PROFESSIONAL interrogator. You can’t make a living off this alone. But you can make yourself irreplacable in several areas, and the living follows.
But when there is a desperate need for INFORMATION, someone like me is absolutely essential.
Many times down here the conversation would get around to one’s ethnic background.
I would sigh and say, “You’re Scot-Irish with some Indian blood, right?”
The reply was almost always, “Yes! How did you know that?”
I would say, truthfully, “EVERYBODY says that.”
If you know any real history, you will know that white men would take Indian wives, but NEVER the other way around. And as soon as they got back to white territory they would drop that “marriage” and get themselves a white woman as fast as the average rich black does today. Dragging around a squaw did not look good.
In fact, blacks have almost ALL of the real Indian blood in this country today. REAL Indian blood PAYS MONEY from the government. I have seen gfatherings of whites who can actually PROVE they have Indian blood, and it looks like an Aryan festival.
These few whites are descended from a long time ago, when America was solidly Aryan except for Indians. Their few drops of Indian blood came from mixed ancestors who did not look like they had a drop of Indian in them.
NOBOY in white society wanted to drag a squaw around iwth them, and a man who looked like an Indian who had a white wife would have been lynched or repeatedly insulted and killed in one of many fights over it.
I read a book about the Bible a couple of years ago in which the author, who does a pretty thorough job of analysis, states that the Old Testament is about two completely different
Gods and religions — and that the dividing point was the “Babylonian Captivity.” Before that,
it was about a cruel, demanding God who demanded human sacrifice, etc. (I’ll check the library here and see if they have it.)
I abhorred the Protestant practice of pulling verses out of the Bible to “prove” points. As
a Catholic, I have some theology I can call upon to support my abhorrence: besides, it’s easier
to appreciate the Bible if you look at complete units, such as chapters.
The only parts of the Old Testament I _like_ are the later parts, such as Proverbs and the Psalms as well as the DeuteroCanonical books, which are the ones Luther decided to hack out. (btw, several of the Psalms are very closely related to the Zoroastrian Gathas, if not direct translations.)
Be very careful with spellcheckers. Microsoft’s is occasionally wrong. Microsoft’s grammar checker is often _very_ wrong.
Comment by Elizabeth
This is a very interesting business about the two Jewish religions back when. The problem is that only you and I and precious few others can DISUSS it. This is hte same problem I introduced in “The First Church of Judaism.”
You see, people who COULD see the history you and I are talking about have a REASON they know all that. The Bible thumpers are desperate to believe that tehre is no political or tribal subext inthe Old Testament except that which their theology declares. The anti-semites are trying so desperately to tie all that to their General Theory of the Jewish Conspiracy Throughout Time that you can’t keep a talk going with them, either.
But, pace Joe, I am human too. What fascinates ME about ancient Israel is my own lifetime of experience in the Cold War. So when I read the Old Tesament., I never forget for a minute that it wa written in a Cold War atmpsphere. As I keep saying, I read the words of Jesus inthe New Testament entirely differently than theologians do, because I never forget for a minute that Jesus was speaking in a totalitarian theocratic society, something I am VERY familiar with.
Throughout Israel’s early history, it was on the front inthe constant Cold War between Egypt to the south and Mesopotamia to the north. The center of ancient Israel didn’t LOOK like Checkpoint Charlie, but there were plenty of resemblances.
Remember what I told you about Rocky Marciano, Bob. He was scared before every one of his fights. That’s what he said. And you know the Rock don’t lie. Just ‘cause you’re scared don’t mean you don’t tho a punch at somebody.
Part of Comment by Joe Rorke
I’m glad you know how to spell the word “tho.”
If I felt that the Rock DID lie, I would be able to prevent myself from telling him so. As you know, “Discretion is the better part of valor.”
I ain’t chicken.
But I’m LOADED with descretion.
I hate sermons. In the little Methodist Church my mother made me attend every other Sunday, the clock faced the preacher so he would see when his half hour was used up. It didn’t help that back then a wool suit was the only formal attire, so I had to wear wool pants in the middle of the South Carolina summer.
As I had to explain at each conference I attended, I have spent fifty years writing speeches, giving speeches, listening to speeches, and I attend precious few and never for fun.
Within two miles of where I am sitting there are three synagogues, one of each major branch. If I wanted to hear about Jews all I would need to do is drive to one of them on Saturday. But I don’t.
When I talk to David Duke, he almost NEVER mentions Jews to me. That is because he knows that I am sick to death of the subject. But most specialists on Jews, and he certainly qualifies on that score, are neither that polite and none of the others I have met have David’s empathy.
I am an old interogator, so to me an anti-semitic lecture is much the same as a rabbinical sermon. There is something fundamentally unhealthy about a gentile building his world around Jews. But I am wrong to some extent. You see, an interrogator must not just go with his gut reaction. He has to take human motivations into account.
Being an interrogator is based on rule that are simple, but not EASY.
One of the most basic motivations of human beings, since our outstanding chraracteristic is a large frontal lobe, is that we become interested in what we know about. Overriding Joe’s loud objections in advance, I myself am, to a surprising degree, human. I can prove this surprising point with one example.
I was Special Assistant to the head of the Civil Service for both Staffing and Security checks. There is nothing quite as mind-numbing as regulations for civil service jobs. But I had to study them in depth.
I knew that my studies had gone too far when I was trying to explain to someone the radical implications of a particular decision recorded in the loose-leaf, ten thousand page Federal Personnel Manual (FPM). I finally noticed that the person I was filling in on the background of my Great Discovery had a look on his face that showed clearly that he would be rather doing something more pleasant, like being in the last stages of tuberculosis or having a spike driven into his ear.
Remember that I was a professional interrogator, and it took me that long to catch on!
It bothers me that, in church, there is always a reading from the Old Testament. The curse of being from the Bible Belt is that we are exposed to Jews, Jews, Jews all the time, even if we have never met one of the sect that calls itself Jews today.
I am fighting human nature here. Anybody who has studied Jews on and on and on, for any reason at all, is going to find Jews interesting.
Whether he is anti-semitic or pro-semitic (philo-semitic is pretentious nonsense) makes no difference at all. Whether he is a rabbi or a Bible Belter makes no difference at all. A person tends to take an interest in whatever he knows a lot about.
My problem is that I don’t HAVE to listen to the rabbis. But I have to show folks on my side polite attention, even when I would rather be sitting there having a spike slowly driven into my ear.
The first rule an interrogator learns is that a person is not saying what he THINKS he is saying. We are constantly accused of Hate by people who hate us and our race with a fury that is alien to us. I have never in my long lige met a person who used the word “lie” often whose word could be trusted. This is a basic for survival if you are in power politics. If someone keeps repeating, “It’s not about the MONEY” over and over, you know it’s anbout the money.
And so forth.
So why is one staple term antis use the word “ignorant?” What are they ACTUALLY saying? What they are ACTUALLY saying is the following:
“My Politically Correct Mommy Professor and the media’s carefully selected “respectable” conservatives tell me everything I will ever know. I refuse to learn from anybody else. Everybody outside of Mommy Professor and respectable conservatives is just plain IGNORANT.”
A young man criticized my writing and then apologized for doing so. My re0ply was, “When an old guy resents criticism, he is announcing he is no longer able to learn. I will not reach that stage until theyclose the coffin lid.”
A person who uses the general term “ignorant” has closed his intellectual coffin lid.
Damned right Shari is scared of you. You’re one scary guy. I remember when I first entered this blog. I thought you were going to come through the computer at me. You told me how nobody messed with you and I wondered what part of Brooklyn you came from. So, of course, since I’ve been there and done that, I took you on. Child’s play. But Shari probably is scared of you. Remember what I told you about Rocky Marciano, Bob. He was scared before every one of his fights. That’s what he said. And you know the Rock don’t lie. Just ‘cause you’re scared don’t mean you don’t tho a punch at somebody.
Shari might be scared but she’s also right there and that’s enough. She hasn’t left town yet. And she’s a great student. Which is a lot better than no student at all.
Comment by joe rorke — 9/28/2006 @ 2:10 pm | Edit This
I don’t know if I am scared of Bob or not. I figure there is not much he can do to me unless he is really a PC sicko, pretending otherwise, and will turn me in to the secret police.
Comment by Shari
Joe and Shari have given me a chance to repeat something basic: Being a gentleman. I am not naive enought ot hink Joe did so accidentally. As you know, being raised around the group that calls iself The Greatest Generation makes me sick at my stomach when I tell anybody how tough I am.
So Joe did that for me. Yes, I have been a in a lot of situations that would give a frozen turkey the shivers, and so has Joe. On the other hand, a lady has nothing to fear from me or Joe. Quite the opposite. Mexicans are “macho.” That means they drive wildy and risk the lives of otehrs to prove their manhood. They are mean.
All of our enemies make war on women and children. Jews and homosexuals try to subvert us through getting white women to be Libbers or to be fashionable. In Soul on Ice, Eldridge Cealver demanded that blacks rape white women to take away their aura of being on a pedestal. Black riots never went into white areas, because there were white MEN there.
A gentleman is just what it says, a gentle MAN. Those sweet old Southern boys with their “Yes, maam” and “No maam” are notoriously the last guys on earth you want to insult face-to-face. If you come to, it will be in an Intesive Care Unit, and everybody knows it.
We’re PROUD of that. “Macho” is what we call “trashy.”
It is astonishng that Hollywood LIBERALS described our Southern women best: “Steel Magnolias.”
I was not raised with weak women. I was not raised with weak men. But because our women act very feminine and our men consider good manners to be the sign of class, many Yankees portray our women as shrinking violets.
I treat Shari and Elizabeth as ladies. But I am NOT easy on them. They would, quite rightly, be offended if I did. Anybody who tried to treat Elizabeth or Shari as a delicate little flower in a discussion would find himself in the verbal equivalent of that Intensive Care Unit the Good Ole Boys would put them into.
No, I leave it to trash to physically abuse women or to make their attacks on our women and children. I leave it to idiots to treat an intelligent LADY as if she were a shrinking violet. I do speak differently to women than to men here in some cases. But that is respect for the sex, not giving out breaks.
Good question, why did Reagan pick that turkey Bush senior for the VP position. Well there are many reasons and one important one may be that a conservative like Reagan could never be elected with out a moderate or sellout like Bush. Now if we remember what BOB taught us about Wallace and the strong showing he had as a third part candidate it would have been obvious that this reasoning was false. But Washinton DC is full of experts on everything and Reagans advisors sold the party out by choosing Bush as the VP. Few people vote for the vice president, Reagan would have defeated peanut head with a conservative as the VP.
Comment by Alan B.
Reagan’s choice for VP in 1980 was Laxalt of Nevada, a solid conservative of Basque descent.
Reagan’s staffers, the same ones who later took, “Mr. Gorbaczv, tear down this wall!” out of his speech THREE TIMES — he kept putting it back in — were committed to a “moderate.” When they suggested Bush, Reagan’s first words were, “But he’s a WIMP!”
But the pro-moderates had solid support from the media and from Nancy Reagan.
In 1989, Nancy, there was a little revenge on Nancy. When Bush accepted the nomination her husbad had obrained for him for president, Bush made a speech saying his would be a “kinder and gentler_ Administration.
Like so many respectable conservative dupes, Nanacy finally got it, and got it it too late. Sobran and Bushanan had the same problem.
Nancy came back from that speech asking, “Kinder and gentler THAN WHAT?” She finallly realized that the man she had sponsored was repudiating Reagan openly. He then got rid of ALL the Reagan appointees more throughly than a Democrat would have.
“Why did Reagan ever pick him for a running mate?”
Forgive me for butting in here, but I always figured it was to carry the Southern vote.
Comment by Mark
That that HURT!
Bush, Sr. was always looked upon down here as a New Englander. Listen tot hat whiney Yankee, nasal voice!
The only electoral office Bush Sr. ever won on his own was one term as a congressman from Texas. He was elected president purely as Reagan’s successor, immeidately got rid of all Reagan appointees, and lost his reelection bid massively.
In 1982 I produced The New Right Papers, which explained how we on the New Right had engineered Reagan’s 1980 victory. Paul Weyrich wrote a piece in that book where he pointed out that the first great victory his section of the New Right won was defeating George Bush for re-election in Texas! This, was, of course, Reagan’s Vice President at the time.
Our estimate of him in 1982 was demonstrated to be perfectly accurate.
Forget the “Conservative” label. For most people, Conservative equals what others call Neo-Conservative, and that is certainly PC. Any other remaining connotations mean “Yankee economics:” the system that exploited the South, replaces the town square with Walmart, and imported 100 million alien wage-slaves. Come to think of it, Conservatives don’t even know what Conservative means anymore and Conservatives are stumbling over themselves trying to be Respectable/PC. Why not Populist or “true American” or “honest?” Believe it or not, Hitler was able to recruit Social Democrats and Communists. He didn’t do that by calling the NSDAP “radical conservative.” There are still some situations where “conservative” is useful, such as in religion, but these are few.
Conservatism is long dead. Deal with it.
Comment by Pain
Absolutely. Today any opponent ofhte established religion, Political Correctness, is called, of all things, a conservative.
What our discussion has proven that Political Correctness cannot be expressed in real English. They’re screwed up the language like everything else.
So you are going by the definitions from typical usage. I was going by a dictionary definition. Note my emphasis is below:
1. The inclination, especially in politics, to MAINTAIN the existing or traditional order.
2. A political philosophy or attitude emphasizing respect for traditional institutions, distrust of government activism, and OPPOSITION TO SUDDEN CHANGE in the established order.
1. Bringing about or supporting a political or social revolution: revolutionary pamphlets.
2. Marked by or resulting in RADICAL CHANGE: a revolutionary discovery.
“Revolutionary conservatism” wouldn’t be in essence a contradiction of terms if you are refering to a time and a place where your views were labeled conservative — and you want a revolution to get it back.
It confuses those of us who aren’t politicos.
Maybe you are referring to radical traditionalism? An interesting article I stumbled upon:
Why Radical Traditionalism in Politics?
— Comment by Al Parker
This reminds of the amusing use of language in religion. It is so common nobody notices it.
For example, the Pope refers to the “Orthodox Church.” But clearly he considers his OWN church to be the orthodox chruch or he would hand in his tiara.
ALL churches consider THEMSELVES the orthrodox church or they would not exist.
When a pope or an Orhtodox Patriarch refers to the Episcopal Church, we know what sect he is talkng about. But the word “Episcopal” simply means that a church has bishops. Bishops rule the Catholic Chruch, the Orthodox Church, the Anglican Communion, and even the Methodist Church, which was titled The Methodist Episcopal Church until recently.
But we all know what the Episcopal Church refers to.
As for the Catholic Church, every church considers itself to be catholic, which means universal. Every church thinks of itself as both orthodox and catholic, but those words have a titular meaning iwthout which any discussion between churches would be almost impossible.
All churches are evangelical, meaning that they all go out and preach the Gospel. But when we say evangelical Christian we mean a specific type of theology. Outside of the Quakers, all major denominations baptize, but we have a Baptist Church.
I do not consider myself a revolutionary because of Webster’s Dictionary. I call myself a revolutionary because I want to tear this system up by the roots.
Someone said that Shari gets knocked down here and keeps coming back and added “Yay, Shari!”
I myself have remarked on Shari’s intellectual courage and I certainly join in the Yay bit, but I never got the impression that Shari was intimidated by me.
If she IS terrified of me, she expresses it in an odd way.
Her last comment was, quote,
Al knows better, but he gave me a chance to make a point here:
I think one has to first decide if he’s a conservative or a revolutionary.
Bob is calling himself both. Is there no contradiction here?
I can understand why one would want to call himself a conservative and speak in ambiguous
terms about preserving European heritage. It brings the normal, mentally balanced people
that we desperately need into the movement. But I find it disingenous at best and deceitful
at worst. As if non-whites would leave if you gave them a plane ticket and a few dollars.
Comment by Al Parker
Al, language is usage. Today anyone who is not a stright-down-the-line Political
Correctness freak is called a “conservative.” I did not invent the language, but I have to
play it where it lies, and this is a lie.
Nontheless, in our society every non-liberal is called some kind of conservative. If
you are anti-liberal you are a conservative, and in that sense I am a conservative.
If things were not so desperate, I would spend some effort in fighting for the
correct use of words. The William Buckleys have ample time to do that sore of thing.
I don’t have that time preceisely because I AM a revolutionary.
To say, “I think one has to first decide if he’s a conservative or a revolutionary.” is one
of those statements one cannot deal with logically, like Reagan’s “We came here to clean
out the swamp, not to join the alligators.”
The word you apply to me is defeinitely NOT the first thing I am worried about.
Bob, there’s a not a day goes by that I don’t reflect on something you said. I feel like
I’ve earned a bachelor’s degree in common sense from the last 6 or 8 months I’ve been
reading you. My masters degree should be delivered sometime next fall.
Comment by Mark
BW keeps coming back again and again to this subject of ideology versus pragmatics.
Reagan was an opponent of something that has not been opposed in big league politics since Reagan and that is the rise of “communitarian standards” in social life.
Reagan opposed the salting of the bureaucracy with his appointees because he wanted to establish a “competing standard” that specifies that appointees loose their jobs when the boss loses his. That was the way things were before the civil service and Reagan felt that if we go back to the old ways we could mitigate the plague of rule by academics and financial elites.
Reagan understood that the concept of “communitarian standards” was a mechanism through which an academic-financial elite establishes a dictatorship they call “democracy”. This is the European Union today.
Everybody (and I mean everybody) along the ideological spectrum nowadays loves the notion of “communitarian standards” in one way or another. The Christian Right is in love with the idea as are Hippy Liberals. Even the “anti-globalists” love the idea without noticing the irony.
The genius of BW is that he understands that humans are punished by cleverness and Reagan was a measure to clever for his own good. I get the feeling that BW is an opponent of all ideology.
Instead BW says focus loyalty alone. Isn’t that a truly radical idea?
Comment by Dave —
You are really getting my point. I plug away here evry day on the faith that you will carry on my way of thinking. I have exactly the same feeling you do:
We are living in a world of zombies or Pod People. Why can’t they just the crap and see reality as it is?
It helps me a LOT when Mark says he THINKS about what I say and uses it in formulating his own approach to things. In a world of Pod People, one person who can understand reality is a great relief.
Dave continues Mark’s theme. he is APPLYING basic thought to policy.
Dave is dead right about this communitarian business. I mentioned it in regard to that endless, disastrous nonsense about conservative congressmen “giving money back.” The same thing was true of Reagan’s policy of not putting our people in the permanent civil service.
They say that if THEY give money back, then they are being principled.
What was funny to me was that, whent ey were giving money back they were adamantly opposed to exactly the same policy in miltary affairs.
It’s called Unilateral Disarmament. The idea was that, since America believed in Peace, we should give up OUR weapons and Communists would get rid of theirs. Liberals said that was a matter of principle. Conservatives said it was insane.
At the same time I had to deal with conservative Unilateral Disarmament all the time.
Back to basics:
Why did people elect a consservative congressman instead of a liberal? They elected him so he could get 1) a vote in congress, 2) More important, so he could get committee assignments; 3) so he could speak for them in congress, 4) so he woud get MONEY to hire staff to do things for his district and ITS beliefs.
Now, what if a congressman said, “Well, I think congress does too much. So I’m not going to vote at all.” Lunatic asylum, here he comes.
What if a congressman said, “I can have two committee assignments, but since I believe the government interferes in too many areas, I am going to give up one. Linatic asylum, here he comes.
What if a congressman said, ” I don’t like the rhetoric in congress, so when a question is being debated, I’, going to give up my time.” Has the asylum got room for one more?
Now, what if a congressman says, “I have this budget, but the government spends too much money. So I won’t hire staff to take of my district or fight for my beliefs.” Do they put him in a straitjacket? No, they think he’s God.
Reagan’s saying, “We came here to clean out the swamp, not to join the alligators” he was practising exactly the same kind of Unilateral Disarmament. As I said, the first thing Bush did when he took office in 1989 was to clean out every single TEMPORARY political appointee Reagan had put in. He wanted his OWN people in there. He, like every president before Reagan, worked hard to get his people into PERMANENT civil service jobs.
Try to explain that to an intellectual zombie, a respectable conservative. You will understand why I am so grateful for the Daves and Marks.
In our weekly meeting with the Director of OPM, the political, polcy meeting, someone mentioned that they were having truble with Strom Thurmond’s office. I was the only South Carolinian there. I had spent five years on Capitol Hill. I knew why they were having trouble getting Strom’s cooperation.
Fortunately I was on my way out of OPM by then and nobody asked me.
You see, Strom had been in Washington for a quarter of a cenury by the time Reagan got there. Strom was there eighteen years after Reagan left. So when his office found out I was Special Assistant for Staffing, they called in a list of reliable people who should be in the permanent civil service as our agents.
They had had trouble with my predecssors, but they thought I would understand. After years of getting put off by earlier Special Assistants, I had to give them the straight poop.
I had to explain to Strom’s office that the official Administration position was that Reagan was going to clean up the entire civil service during his term of office, “We are here to clean up the swamp, not to join the alligators.” So my boss had determined not to have single person on our side in the civil service if he could hstop it.
The silence on the other end of the phone was eloquent.
Every Administration says it is not appointing permanent civil service. Nobody,but nobody, MEANT it. That is part of the game of political power in DC.
So, at the politicals’ meeting, the staff puzzled over why Strom’s office didn’t take us seriously.
If they had asked me, how could I have explained it?