Thursday, October 03, 2013
Via Sultan Knish
The government shutdown has forced Obama to make do with only a quarter of his 1,701 person staff. That would leave 436 “vital” employees. The 90 people who look after his living quarters would be slashed to 15 to “provide minimum maintenance and support”.Buckingham Palace, which is twelve times the size of the White House and has its own clockmaker, only has an 800 person staff. King Harald V of Norway and his court make do with 152 staffers. King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden gets by with 203.On Twitter, Michelle Obama announced that she is unable to Tweet on her own without the aid of all of her sixteen assistants; many of whom take home six figure salaries. There are more directors, associate directors and deputy associate directors on Michelle Obama’s staff than there were in George Washington’s entire administration.Presidents have fought wars and made peace, explored and annexed vast territories and built a nation out of a handful of colonies with fewer senior staffers than are needed to handle Michelle Obama’s Twitter account.In 2009, Oprah’s Harpo Productions released a video of celebrities pledging “to be a servant to our president.” The idea that presidents were to be the servants of the people rather than their masters had become outmoded.There is a word for men who surround themselves with czars, who expand their staffs, who fly their dogs out on separate planes, who amuse themselves at the expense of the people at lavish parties, concerts and vacations. And it isn’t public servant.
Before we are through fixing Washington we are going to have to fix the way the Ruling Class lives. A lifestyle that eclipses the French court at Versailles is not appropriate for a Republic. Government should not be the royal road to riches. There is something obscene about an American president taking along an entourage of 5,000 to travel. Limit him to secretary and a housekeeper and there will be far, far less mischief that he and his royal court can cook up.