WEEKLY STANDARD: The Liberal Ideological Complex:

We do not always see this collaboration so clearly, because we tend to view each aspect of it as unique and not part of a larger picture. We look, for example, at public sector unions as a labor issue. We look at funding for Planned Parenthood through the lens of abortion policy. We look at EPA regulations and grants in terms of global warming and job destruction. And so on and so forth, down to the smallest, most narrowly tailored grant awards of the federal government.

Yet in each of these cases, the complex functions in essentially the same way. Federal funds are provided for organizations that carry out liberal policies. In turn, these groups employ like-minded staff and both the leadership and the staff of these groups contribute money, time, and services to the politicians who favor this use of federal funds. This creates a vicious circle in which campaign funds are indirectly skimmed off the top of taxpayer-funded organizations, all in the service of liberal ideology.

When progressives helped to replace the spoils system with government by so-called experts, they aimed to professionalize the government. The goal was to put policy decisions into the hands of intelligent and highly trained bureaucrats who would know the interests of Americans better than average Americans did themselves. Here is the basis for the extraordinary willfulness of progressive government, a matter that has been remarked upon frequently.

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