The Department that didn't bark
Something has been missing in this years presidential campaign, something that I didn't even notice until I read this article by David Berman in Salon.com this morning: the Department of Homeland Security. Berman explains why this is a little odd:
The establishment of DHS, the most important civilian agency for ensuring the nation's security, represented the largest reorganization of the federal government since Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal. Within DHS are the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Transportation Security Administration, the Coast Guard, Customs and Border Protection, the Secret Service and 12 other components in charge of critical government functions including immigration and nuclear detection. The secretary of the Department of Homeland Security oversees all of this and is the public face for raising and lowering the National Threat Advisory (currently, yellow), making this appointment one of the most important facing the president. Eighty-six congressional committees have oversight of DHS.
When the presidential candidates talk about big government, it doesn't get any bigger than the Department of Homeland Security. So why then are John McCain and Barack Obama silent on DHS?
Good question and Berman attempts to answer it, but more importantly he gives his idea of how to fix it, or at least improve it. At the moment it seems to be the beast too big to ride.