“Transparency & Open Government” AWOL from Obama White House!

By John W. Lillpop

Much ado was made about President Obama’s pious commitment to transparency and open government in the early days of his administration. It was, after all, a key ingredient in The One’s master plan to fundamentally transform America and to bring about much-needed Change and Hope for the masses.

President Obama even issued the following memorandum to administration officials:

Transparency and Open Government Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies

SUBJECT: Transparency and Open Government

My Administration is committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in Government. We will work together to ensure the public trust and establish a system of transparency, public participation, and collaboration. Openness will strengthen our democracy and promote efficiency and effectiveness in Government.

Barack Obama

Wow! That is certainly a powerful commitment to principle and doing the right thing. It was very was wise of Obama to make his position clear and unequivocal.

So nearly three years on, just how is that Transparency and Open Government thing working out, Mr. President?

If asked, I am certain that Obama would claim complete success and trumpet this as yet another major achievement in a bitterly partisan environment where men of lesser quality would cave in to the temptations of partisan wrangling by hiding behind the Bully Pulpit of the U.S. Presidency.

But not Barack Hussein Obama, right?

How, then, to explain the actions of White House Counsel Kathryn Ruemmler with respect to a subpoena issued by House Republicans concerning the Solyndra scandal?

As reported at the reference, Counsel Ruemmler rejected the subpoena out of hand:

President Obama's attorney sent a letter to Congressional investigators on Friday, saying the White House would not cooperate with a subpoena requesting documents related to its doling out a $535 million loan guarantee to now bankrupt solar panel manufacturer Solyndra.

"I can only conclude that your decision to issue a subpoena, authorized by a party-line vote, was driven more by partisan politics than a legitimate effort to conduct a responsible investigation," Obama's counsel, Kathryn Ruemmler, wrote in a letter to the top Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce committee.”

Excuse me, Counsel, but you are supposed to be representing THE agent for Change and Hope, the man in whom God has entrusted the mantra “Transparency & Open Government” for this and all future generations to heed both in spirit and letter!

Refusing to comply with a properly-executed instrument of the Congress based on flimsy musing about ‘partisan politics’ is simply not ‘cool’ in this, the Enlightened Age of Barack!

Back to the reference:

Committee chairman Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich, blasted the White House response:

“We have been reasonable every step of the way in this investigation, and it is a shame that the Obama Administration and House Democrats continue to put up partisan roadblocks to hide the truth from taxpayers. Solyndra was a jobs program gone bad, and we must learn the lessons of Solyndra as we work to turn our economy around and put folks back to work.
Our judicious and methodical work over the last eight months has garnered tens of thousands of pages of documents from DOE and OMB that have proven we are on the right track. Now, we need to know the White House’s role in the Solyndra debacle in order to learn the full truth about why taxpayers now find themselves a half billion dollars in the hole. The White House could have avoided the need for subpoena authorizations if they had simply chosen to cooperate. That would have been the route we preferred, and frankly, it would have been better for the White House to get the information out now, rather than continue to drag this out. Our request for documents is reasonable - we are not demanding the President’s blackberry messages as we are respectful of Executive Privilege. What is the West Wing trying to hide? We owe it to American taxpayers to find out.”

Indeed! Just what is the West Wing trying to hide, Mr. President?