Who trusts the government anymore?

Staff Columnist

There was a famous exchange in the British Parliament in the last two years of Queen Victoria’s reign. During a debate on Irish policy, an English member found it helpful to recount, “the sun never sets on the British Empire.” His opponent in the debate, a member from Northern Ireland, responded with, “Of course not, God doesn’t trust you people in the dark.”

Were such an exchange take place today in the congress, the response would simply be, almost no one trusts this government anymore.” You doubt that? A CNN poll that found only 13 percent of those polled believe the government can be trusted to do the right thing most of the time.

I was stunned by the CNN poll. Who are the 13 percent. What are they thinking? Where have they been?

The world, and us with it, is spinning out of control and our government seems beset with false steps, missed signals, and woefully wrong communications.

The Bret Bair Report on FOX led off Monday with ISIS is on the move tonight. On the move, indeed. In early September events in Syria and Iraq were going to hell in a hand basket. The good news was Obama had finally bestirred himself to notice. He faced the press on September 4 but his response to the question of what was the strategy to defeat ISIS didn’t inspire confidence. He simply, but honestly, said, “I don’t want to put the cart before the horse. We don’t have a strategy yet.”

Jim Geraghty in National Review’s Morning Jolt, asked the obvious questions: “Why not? Don’t we spend billions, even trillions, on national-security agencies, intelligence agencies, and a Department of Defense? Isn’t somebody in those vast, expensive organizations supposed to come up with a strategy?” Then he [Obama] said “They underestimated what had been taking place in Syria.”  (The scream you heard was Jim Clapper, Director of the CIA, as he went under the bus.).  As usual, when Obama admits any slip or mistake, it usually ends up, “it’s my fault I hired such a dumninsky.”

NBC News chief foreign correspondent, Richard Engel, on Meet the Press last Sunday, painted a rather stark picture. The Islamic State “does not seem to be degraded at all” by air strikes and while they may have forced ISIS to shift targets, “it is certainly not slowing down the group.”

National Security Advisor, Susan Rice, as usual, was sent out to say the stupid stuff. She told us the White House was not reassessing the strategy despite ISIS threatening Bagdad. Would it be too much to ask someone over at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue to have a plan B in the hopper? Would it be too much to ask the White House to think more than two fund raisers ahead?

Give Rice a break. She did the dirty on Benghazi when Clinton refused. On Sunday, she was on the spot again because Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel had been shipped to Peru with a global warming message. Could someone explain the timing or that message?

The problem with trusting this government to do the right thing goes much deeper than just the slip ups with ISIS. On Tuesday there was another big Oh-Oh, but this one was on our efforts to control the Ebola infection now threatening the world.

Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and prevention advised a news conference. According to the Associated Press,  he said, “We have to rethink the way we address Ebola infection control . . .” Seems nurse Nina Pham who had been treating Thomas Duncan, the Liberian Ebola patient, had herself become infected despite wearing protective gear, that included a gown, gloves, a mask and face shield.

Early on, we were treated to many encouraging statements. The Ebola virus will not come to the United States − President Obama. The Ebola virus does not spread easily − Thomas Frieden, Director of US Center for Disease Control and Prevention. It is well under control and will not spread in the United States − Obama and Frieden. We will isolate and then degrade the outbreak; opps, that was Obama talking about ISIS. Sorry.

The fact is our government was as late to the Ebola outbreak as it was to the ISIS attacks. A humanitarian organization battling Ebola in Africa sought help from the American government at least a month before the two Americans became infected, according to Yahoo News. Ken Isaacs, vice president of a North Carolina-based Christian missionary organization operating in Africa testified before congress last Thursday: “In mid-June, I began speaking privately to U.S. officials that the disease was spiraling out of control and more needed to be done immediately.”

Yahoo news also reported that on July 28, Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) “phoned the White House, State Department, Centers for Disease Control and Department of Health and Human Services ‘trying to understand just what, if anything, the U.S. was doing both to help contain the outbreak in Africa and prevent the spread of Ebola to the U.S. I was,’ said Wolf, ‘concerned that no one could tell me who was in charge within the administration on this issue. No one could explain what actions would be taken to ensure the U.S. was prepared to respond.”

After an October 7 White House press briefing in which the details of the government’s response to the Ebola crisis were laid out in full, complete with assurances  that the government was on top of things, Major Garrett, Chief White House Correspondent with CBS News, was overheard on a hot mike summing up the days presentation with the pithy statement: “We’re screwed.”

Not very proper, but would you argue with him?









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8 Responses for “Who trusts the government anymore?”

  1. Georgie McFarland says:

    Car crashes and Ebola are apples and oranges. There is no real comparison here. Why don’t you use the Flu of 1919 and the Black plague of the Middle Ages for comparison.

  2. Steve says:

    Georgie, About 40,000 people a year die in car crashes each year. Ban all cars!!! Even more die each year from complications of the flu. Close the schools, airports, stores and cancel all sporting events!!! Grand total of deaths from ebola in the US since the country was founded in 1776: one

  3. Georgie McFarland says:

    I guess I got the dander up on one liberal,five cases today, how many tomarrow?

  4. Seriously? says:

    Georgie – you sound like the school board in Maine who suspended a teacher last week because she went to an education conference in Dallas: no intelligent thought process, just another fool. There now have been 5 cases of Ebola in the US – hardly an epidemic. The NY transit authority just announced another record number of riders – 6.1m per day. New Yorkers are not mis-led by scare mongering, show boat politicians like Rick Scott and Vern Buchannan.

    5 cases. We don’t have a Surgeon General because Rand Paul kneels before Sheldon Adleman and the NRA. 5 cases. Last year and every year for the last 20 years 30,000 Americans were killed with firearms and another 100,000 were wounded. Drug Resistant Tuberculosis, Hepatitis C, Air Pollution, Anti-Vaccination nuts – those are public health issues.

    Do yourself a favor, listen to Ron Paul the physician not Rand Paul the scare monger on Ebola.

  5. Georgie McFarland says:

    Where is, or where was Obama and the rest of the Democrat leadership on stopping entry into the United States from Ebola ridden West African Countries? Now, we have it in New York City amongst all the screaming Liberals who are now afraid to ride the Subway.

  6. Ross says:

    The GOP needs to read the book “Knowing and Doing”. Occasionally they come up with ideas but can’t execute them because of egos and politics. The country comes in third. The GOP needs to get their act together if they ever want to “lead” again.
    former Republican ( a Jack Kemp Republican)

  7. Ross says:

    How about a quick good bye to Congressman Boehner and Senator McConnell? I am afraid that if the GOP wins the Senate they will do what they have done in the House and make the Senate even more inept if that is possible. The GOP doesn’t know what to do when they win.
    former Republican

  8. Thank you for your article…Every word right on the money…Hopefully, it will wake those in their deep slumber of acceptance up to act and hound their representatives in both parties to do what should have been done years ago, impeach Obama and Biden and replace their administration and political appointments asap.

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