Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

Bring Back the Eunuchs?

Washington, corruption, big government, too much government, book

“Everybody knows that ordinary Americans are a bunch of idiots,” a Health and Human Services official told Benjamin Ginsberg. “Why do you need to do a survey to find that out?”

Actually, he was not surveying Americans for their IQs and knowledge levels. He was surveying Washington insiders. Like her.

She hadn’t been listening.

Ginsberg and co-author Jennifer Bachner have a new book out, What Washington Gets Wrong (2016). “We found that public officials,” Ginsberg told C-SPAN’s Brian Lamb last month, “the people who really govern this country . . . don’t think much of ordinary Americans.”

Surprise, surprise. This has been an “open secret” for some time. Washington insiders “are wealthier,” “better educated,” and “think ordinary Americans don’t really know very much.” More alarmingly, they think that the government should “not pay too much attention to what ordinary folks think.”

According to Ginsberg and Bachner, this has been a long time coming. Progressive Era reformers transformed government in an effort to make it less partisan.

They succeeded — only to make it less accountable and less . . . American.

In ancient times, great administrative states were run by eunuchs, men gelded to curb their appetites the better to serve their sovereigns (pharaohs; emperors; kings). Not their own interests.

Is it time to bring back the practice?

Just joking. Instead, Congress can tame the bureaucratic leviathan it has created by trimming its ranks and pulling back on pay and benefits until they’re more in line with the private sector.

Let’s hope the House’s recent passage* of the REINS Act, requiring congressional approval of major regulations, is a sign that Congress’s lackadaisical attitude about the bureaucracy is changing.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.


* Let’s hope the Senate follows suit.

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By: CS Admin


  1. John F. Brennan says:

    The congress, which is somewhat accountable to the electorate, is actually responding to the reality that they are being held responsible for governmental actions by their voters, even if they were administratively imposed. 
    The falsity that they “know better” remains unchecked.  The voters are only totally correct and wise if the vote for the winner. 

  2. Brian wright says:

    A novel idea for a new ceremony at Bohemian Grove initiation.

  3. Pat says:

    That Q&A was a great show. I saw it on C-SPAN just a few days ago. Here’s another suggestion: eliminate unions for federal workers. Either that, or force them to give up the vanity that they are ‘public servants’. Until they have to live by the rules we do, such as that our jobs can be eliminated for any reason, they have no cause to complain.
    Ginsberg had another suggestion: make federal workers live among the common people – in branch offices rather than spending their working lives in the headquarters offices in Washington, D.C.
    The bubble in DC has made them oblivious, if not indifferent, to the issues that most Americans deal with every day.

    • John F. Brennan says:

      Even the sainted (by some) FDR understood that government employee unions were fraught with danger.  
      This is true because of the economic free market constraints in the private sector, where excess demands by organized labor will bankrupt an employer and the unions are aware of that fact of life. 
      That constraint is not present in the public sector where there is no competition and excessive cost passes to an involuntary “customer”, who must pay for the “goods and services” by force if necessary. 

  4. Rocketman says:

    Bottom line is when you scratch off the cover of a liberal/progressive/socialist what you see underneath is an elitist racist bigot. Ran into a number of them in college way back when and knew that already.

  5. douna says:

    Separating Washington insiders from the voting public is foolish. They are one and the same. H L Mencken knew that a hundred years ago, when he wrote:

    “No one in this world, so far as I know — and I have searched the records for years, and employed agents to help me — has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people. Nor has anyone ever lost public office thereby.” This is all ye need know about “democracy.”

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