Service to our nation is a noble effort, which is why some may view Serve.gov in a good light. How could anyone think that promoting national service is a bad thing?
Well, when our government uses “service” as a mechanism to keep their volunteers active in government, it is not so noble.
I claimed last week that the White House Office of Public Engagement’s rationale for promoting service was to keep Obama’s campaign volunteers active. I also claimed that the White House was using Serve.gov to manage those volunteers and as a mechanism to acquire new volunteers for their use. To support that claim I referenced a statement from Buffy Wicks, Deputy Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement, on the now infamous August 10th conference call. Wicks explained to the call participants, an arts group that worked on Obama’s 2008 election campaign, the White House’s rationale for using service:
“…part of my role [at the White House] is working on service, and so when we were thinking about how do we take a lot of this energy that’s out there, how do we translate folks who have just been engaged in electoral politics and engage them in really the process of governing, of being part of this administration in a little bit of a different way because politics is one thing and governing is something totally separate, we really saw service as the platform by which we can do that.”
Buffy Wicks didn’t state that national recovery was the rationale for encouraging service. She conveyed that the White House was interested in transitioning partisans from the election cycle into the administration, and using “service” as the mechanism for that transition.
Glenn Beck picked up on the significance of this statement last night, but to further support this claim I went to Serve.gov and did a search for “Democrat.” What I found was 20 pages of volunteering opportunities that were related to Democratic causes (check here). There are probably far more than 20 pages of listings, however that is the maximum that any search term will display. In contrast, the search term “Republican” returns a paltry 2 pages, of which many are still Democratic cause listings that contain the word “Republican” somewhere in the description.
If Serve.gov were a registered voter, my money would be on it wearing a donkey pin.