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8/20/05 Insider Letter

Posted by Sys Op on August 20th, 2005 under Insider Letter Archive

(Reprinted to Blog from email list of 8/20/05)

*** Bob’s Insider’s Message ***

Alphabet Soup

I was a political appointee of the President, but before and after that I spent time in the regular career civil service.

So when I was appointed by Reagan to the Office of Personnel Management(OPM), another Big Presidential Appointee pulled out the organization chart and showed me how they had come in and reorganized OPM.

I have a reputation for laughing in all the wrong places, but in this case I managed to keep a perfectly straight face.

You see, every time a new administration comes in the professional civil service wants to keep them from rocking the boat. The standard way of keeping them occupied was something we called “playing alphabet soup.”

Every new cabinet secretary is going to Clean Up the Mess in Washington by making everything logical and orderly. So he takes the Office of Career Development (OCD) out of the Directorate of Training (DOT) and moves it to the Human Resources Development Unit (HRU).

Every administration appointee works on shuffling this alphabet soup around far into the night. By the time he has reorganized everything, the dangerous period when the new administration might actually do something has passed, and everybody is settled into Business As Usual (BAU).

It makes not the slightest difference who is in what letters of the organizational alphabet soup. The same high-level career people will be doing the same thing they have been doing for the past twenty years.

This is all well and good, except that people get hung up in trying to follow all the movements of the letters, and respectable conservatives debate the merits of this arrangement vs. that arrangement and argue with liberals over the most minute details of having this agency under that agency and so on, and forget the main point – that the same people are doing the same thing they have always done, and wrecking the country. This last detail seems to escape the notice of almost everyone who is allowed to appear in the media to tell us what is going on.

Getting caught up in following the shuffling is about as useful as playing the “shell game” with one of those con-men on a city bus. And a whole lot more disastrous for the country as a whole.

The reason we are expending the effort to bring you WOL, a radio program, and my book, is that someone needs to call attention to that forgotten detail, the one that everyone seems to have overlooked while following the shuffling.



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