In Defense of the Secret Service et al

-By Frank Hyland

Leadership, it turns out, does matter. In fact, it is absolutely critical to the efforts of an organization and to the ultimate outcome of those efforts. Correspondingly, lack of leadership is also very telling. All the symptoms of a lack of leadership are glaringly evident in the current occupant of the White House and his crew.

This past couple of weeks has provided ample opportunity for us to judge the quality of leadership provided by this administration since coming into office. The General Services Administration’s (GSA) conference in Las Vegas (paid for by you), followed by the U.S. Secret Service Advance Team in Colombia bringing prostitutes back to their hotel (where they were lodged at your expense) have sharpened the focus on the style of leadership being practiced since January, 2009.

Another thing that inept, inadequate leaders do is to point the finger of blame elsewhere, in hopes that at least a few unaware citizens will believe them. A true leader, such as George Washington or Abraham Lincoln didn’t do that; they couldn’t and wouldn’t. For the Obamanation to proclaim, as its first response to the GSA scandal, that the fault lies with the previous administration is beyond my vocabulary to describe. We were told that the President was said to have been “outraged” at the GSA. But as Mom always told us, consider the source. When your wife and children have recently been to Las Vegas on vacation (Did you think we’d forget?), it takes away from the believability of the “outrage.”

It isn’t just the Number One, though. The style of leadership becomes infused throughout an organization. It turns out that “President in Charge of Vice” Biden has been charging the Secret Service to protect him. Yeah, you read that right. The U.S. Secret Service has a line item in its budget that reads, (I’m paraphrasing) “Rent for VPOTUS Cottage $20,900” You and I would be very grateful for 24-hour protection like that, especially if we were not charged for it, but not the VP. No, every year there’s an entry on Biden’s income tax form showing that “free” protection isn’t enough.

And then there’s Number Three in line for the Presidency – the Secretary of State — photographed in a bar chug-a-lugging a brew and out on the dance floor, too. That’s the image that millions and millions of people now have of our Secretary of State, and, by extension, the view that millions and millions of people now have of you and your country.

And let’s not forget regional EPA administrator Alfredo “Al” Armendariz using the analogy of “crucifixion” in a speech as the approach EPA should adopt in dealing with oil companies.

Once you enter public office, you must cease to be Barack, Joe, Hillary, Alfredo, or any other individual. You now represent over three hundred million Americans and that must be done in a manner — every minute of every day — that brings pride to America, not shame, not embarrassment, not finger pointing. That applies to all public employees – Municipal, County, State, and Federal – whether they be career, appointed or elected. So the GSA, EPA and Secret Service employees who erred should be disciplined. They were, however, looking upward in the organization for an example. So their leaders — up to and including the present occupant of the White House – must also be disciplined. You can do that on November 6th.
Frank Hyland is a long-time Writer/Editor who has written for The New Media Alliance, and also for The Reality Check and has appeared weekly on Life, Liberty & the Pursuit of Conservatism on Sunday evenings on Blog Talk Radio, along with Babe Huggett and Warner Todd Huston.

Copyright Publius Forum 2001