He called the dysfunction “a political crutch” and “not a part of the American spirit.”
Behind Panetta’s remarks is the frustration he feels looking at the current political deadlock in Congress over deficit reduction. He has been there before — as chairman of the House Budget Committee, director of the Office of Management and Budget, and chief of staff at the White House.
“One thing that I’ve learned over my career is that governing requires people coming together to get things done, not to pound their fists on the table and stand in the way,” he told an audience that included present and former government officials, members of Congress, defense industry representatives and dozens of college students.
Panetta’s predecessor, Robert Gates, last December gave the same type of lecture, in which he talked about Washington’s short supply of “civility, mutual respect, putting country before self and country before party, listening to and learning from one another, not pretending to have all the answers and not demonizing those with whom we differ.”
Gates, too, talked about politicians’ inability “to sustain bipartisan strategies and policies needed to address our very real and serious problems.”
There must be something good in the Pentagon’s water.
Phi Beta Iota: Pincus is the low-rent version of Ignatius. This article so lacking in intelligence and integrity as to be the epitome of Washington–bottom feeders “honoring” bottom-feeders. Panetta and Gates are both unethical toadies for the military-industrial-congressional complex. They dishonor the Constitution, the Republic, and the flag. All those associated with this charade are in betrayal of the public trust. If they were *only* betraying the US public trust, that would be one thing — when combined with the global war crimes and other atrocities done “in our name,” all of this qualifies Leon Panetta for an appearance before the International Tribunal, along with the CIA drone team, the four service chiefs, and the chains of command for Africa, Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, and Yemen, inter alia.