What does it mean when someone involved in a political scandal is described as being a “career civil servant”? Have these people undergone some sort of cranial procedure? Are they politically the equivalent of eunuchs?, having had their political organs removed thus making them incapable of political operation? I hardly think so.
Civil service at the Post Office Department, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Food and Drug Agency (FDA), the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the National Security Agency (NSA) is not a higher calling. It’s a job working for the largest employer in the United States, an employer that’s always hiring. One that offers compensation packages equal to or better than you find in the private sector with the added benefit of almost armor plated job security. In an era when the disappearance of the 40 year plus career with a single employer is mourned, the possibility is alive and well in the civil service. To be sure, there are non-military civil assignments with danger attached, but to be equally as sure, the IRS isn’t one of them.
Career “civil servants” have played the game correctly. They’ve filled out the multi-page questionnaires and applications and waited months for the response. Having been successful, the climbers have correctly judged the environment in which they existed and behaved accordingly. They wrote their reports in language that couldn’t be read as offensive to anyone’s sensibilities, they have been scrupulously politically correct, and have been duly promoted. Those who chaffed at the requirement of total surrender to diversity, inclusiveness, and correctness have been winnowed out and moved to the private sector.
So, to say that someone is a career public servant is, in general, just about the farthest thing in the world from saying that they are apolitical with no axe to grind.
But that’s just what an average guy thinks.