It's a real shame Gates could not connect to his integrity while in office.
Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates has called out lawmakers for their inability to compromise and develop bipartisan strategies and policies to “address our very real and serious problems.”
During a speech in which he called Washington a town of “oversized egos and undersized backbones,” Gates said “zero-sum politics and ideological siege warfare are the new order of the day.”
“[The] moderate center, the foundation of our political system, is not holding,” he said Tuesday during an Atlantic Council event honoring Brent Scowcroft, a former national security adviser to Presidents Ford and George H.W. Bush.
Last month, a panel of Republicans and Democrats were unable to find $1.2 trillion in cuts to federal spending over the next decade. The gridlock has triggered sequestration, or automatic government spending cuts. The Pentagon's share of those cuts, which do not take effect until January 2013, is about $600 billion.
Gates, who retired in June, also criticized congressional redistricting “to create safe seats for incumbents in both parties, leading to elected representatives totally beholden to their party's ideological base.”
He also lamented the decline of the once-powerful committee chairman who used to be able to broker deals within their caucuses. Today, “compromise means selling out.”
Gates also expressed concern that many of the strongest, most influential backers of U.S.-European relations are departing pubic service.
“The politicians and policymakers who will follow us … will not have the same historical, personal and indeed emotional tie to Europe and may not consider the return on America's investment in Europe's defense worth the cost and that will be a tragedy,” he said.
Phi Beta Iota: Dr. Gates confused loyalty with integrity throughout his career. He and those other senior civil servants and uniformed flag officers have the best of intentions but consistently betray the public trust when they forget that they swore an oath to protect the Constitution from all enemies domestic and foreign. Loyalty to a domestic enemy of the Constitution is treason. It's time we again remind our public servants of the different between loyalty to individuals and integrity in relation to the Constitution.