Former Secret Service Agent Plays the Game

One of the rising stars of Wingnuttia is Dan Bongino, a former Secret Service agent who quit, wrote a book with all kinds of vague accusations about how horrible President Obama is and is now running for Congress in Maryland. He spoke at CPAC and showed that he has already mastered the art of political dishonesty.

A former Secret Service agent for President Obama and now a Republican congressional candidate in Maryland, Dan Bongino went after his old boss in a speech at the CPAC annual conservative conference, warning the president’s health care law will “devastate communities.”

“People are going to die,” he said, warning that health care in the U.S. will degrade to the efficiency of government bureaucracies such as the Postal Service.

“Do you want to go to a bureaucrat to crack your chest open when you need a heart operation?” he asked.

Well, I’ve had my chest cracked open. It was done by a doctor, not a bureaucrat. And now that I’ve got health insurance through the health care exchanges set up by Obamacare, I’ll still be going to be a doctor. You know why? Because that insurance is through the same private insurance company I had before, only at a much lower price with much better coverage. Bongino is just lying because that lie supports his position. You have learned well, young padawan. You will undoubtedly be a successful politician.

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About Ed Brayton

After spending several years touring the country as a stand up comedian, Ed Brayton tired of explaining his jokes to small groups of dazed illiterates and turned to writing as the most common outlet for the voices in his head. He has appeared on the Rachel Maddow Show and the Thom Hartmann Show, and is almost certain that he is the only person ever to make fun of Chuck Norris on C-SPAN.

  • http://howlandbolton.com richardelguru

    “efficiency of government bureaucracies such as the Postal Service”

    In my experience that’s actually quite efficient!

  • Richard Smith

    I keep reading his name as “Boingo.” Make of that what you will…

  • otrame

    @1

    Yeah. I think the Postal Service does a pretty good job and would do it even better if they weren’t saddled with that 75 year pension thing.

  • rabbitscribe

    “Because that insurance is through the same private insurance company I had before, only at a much lower price with much better coverage.

    HELLO???

    … I had before…

    Don’t you get it? You lost your health insurance due to Obamacare!!!

  • http://twitter.com/#!/TabbyLavalamp Tabby Lavalamp

    “Do you want to go to a bureaucrat to crack your chest open when you need a heart operation?” he asked.

    No, and that’s what I hate about our system in Canada. I don’t want the government between me and my doctor, I want an insurance company middle manager focused on the corporate bottom line between me and my doctor! Commies! Marxists! Nazis! [/mouth foam]

  • dugglebogey

    I’ve mailed a lot of letters via the post office, and I’ve had a lot of relatives go to the doctor.

    I’m not sure the post office doesn’t have a better success rate?

  • Nick Gotts

    “People are going to die,” he said

    Well, I have to admit he’s right there. Even a properly funded public healthcare system free at the point of delivery wouldn’t actually stop people dying.

  • http://artk.typepad.com ArtK

    WTF does a Secret Service agent know about medicine or policy? His entire expertise is from working for the Secret Service?

  • Christoph Burschka

    You have learned well, young padawan.

    As far as I know, the Sith just call theirs “apprentice”, not padawan.

  • dugglebogey

    He quit the secret service? The GOP really loves quitters, don’t they?

  • tuibguy

    Well the Secret Service agent didn’t take enough sociology to even learn what a bureaucrat is nor what they do. Bureaucrats enforce policy, and they do it in both the private and public sector. They take the rules as given to them by their governing board (board of directors, congress, the legislature, etc, etc,) and apply them sometimes with discretion and more often to the letter.

    He seems to think that bureaucrats only work for the government, and that corporations run themselves without bureaucrats. So, can he name one private sector institution that runs with bureaucracies? I will give him a hint – a corporation that takes premiums, invests the money for huge gains and pays out claims from a claims fund. The goal is to minimize the cost from the claims find, and part of that is to maximize investments.

    So, there have always been bureaucrats telling the heart surgeon what to do, for the most part bureaucrats determining the least costly treatment rather than the most effective treatment.

    Education – it’s knowledge you can use.

  • scienceavenger

    I keep reading his name as “Boingo.”

    That’s because his middle name is “Oingo”. Hey, we treat the subject with all the seriousness it warrants.

  • Chiroptera

    So, is this clown’s “expertise” on health care reform based on being a Secret Service agent guarding the President?

    As in, he actually heard Obama laugh, “Ha ha ha! Obamacare will really devastate communities! Take that, red state losers!”

  • Wylann

    You mean the post office that has a 99+% success rate delivering parcels across the country, and even to other countries, for about 40 cents? The same post office that has had to increase their rates mostly because the federal government keeps cutting their budget (mostly, it seems to bail out banks and fight in expensive, mostly illegal wars) and expecting them to still do the same job? That post office?

    Yeah, he picked a bad example. I’m guessing he wasn’t the best operative at the SS.

  • pixiedust

    Oh boy! This is my district. Here’s some scoop on Bongino:

    He has a BA from CUNY, an MA from CUNY, and an MA from Penn State. He got the first two degrees while he was employed with the NYPD. He joined the Secret Service from the NYPD. I don’t know but am surmising that at least some of his educational expenses were covered by his employers. His employers, just so we are clear, were governments.

    He really hates government. He says so all the time.

  • Kimpatsu

    Bongino is just lying because that lie supports his position. You have learned well, young padawan.

    He’s not a padawan, he’s a Sith apprentice.

  • http://artk.typepad.com ArtK

    @ pixiedust,

    Very typical. He’s fine with government handouts as long as the benefit him.

  • David Eriksen

    “People are going to die,” he said, warning that health care in the U.S. will degrade to the efficiency of government bureaucracies such as the Postal Service.

    I haven’t had my chest cracked open, but I did show up in the ER with acute cholecystitis back in December. Less than 24 hours later, I was home in bed, sans gall bladder. I’d call that pretty damned efficient. It’s probably worth mentioning that the hospital was wholly owned by the government and everyone there works for the government (also, I didn’t pay a penny).

    The only problem I see is that not everyone has access to TRICARE. If that’s what an actual NHS would look like in the US, then we desperately need it.

  • pixiedust

    Since leaving the Secret Service, his bio says he and his wife have run several small businesses. In IT. He doesn’t name the businesses or say much about them. Given his political posturing (tea party, private sector, small business owner, self-reliant, yadda, yadda), that omission is conspicuous.

    Around here (Washington Beltway), a former government employee in a security field who has an IT business is often a government contractor. And since his wife is involved in the businesses, I would hazard an unsubstantiated guess that at least one business is structured with her as the primary owner so she can compete for minority and women business owned preferences.

    These are just guesses on my part. And there’s nothing wrong with any of it either. Unless you’re running for office as an anti-government true believer.

  • http://adventuresinzymology.blogspot.com JJ831

    Dan Bongino, a former Secret Service agent </blockquote?

    The Secret Service is essentially a bunch of body guards, right (albeit, I assume top-of-class body guards). Outside of general "People are mad a X" what would a Secret Service Agent know about actual policy?

    Actually – a real question, does the Secret Service change between presidents? Or is it the same general group of people?

  • Richard Smith

    Oh, great. Now I’m reading it as Darth Boingo…

  • eamick

    The Secret Service is essentially a bunch of body guards, right (albeit, I assume top-of-class body guards).

    Actually, no. It was originally formed to fight counterfeiting, and that’s still a major part of its job, along with some aspects of financial fraud and computer crime. It wasn’t officially given the job of protecting the President until after McKinley’s assassination.

  • http://polrant@blogspot.com democommie

    Boingo has the syph? JAYSUS! no wonder they kicked him out of the SS. I bet he’d like to see the PotUS security detail outsourced to Xe or Wackenhut.

    Are we even sure that this asshole actually quit and wasn’t canned?

  • DonDueed

    Richard: once you go Boingo, you never go back.

  • mithrandir

    I was going to make a snarky comment about the Secret Service prostitution scandal a couple years back, but I got curious and dug a bit more, only to find out Bongino had retired well before that scandal broke. I guess it’ll have to fall to someone more unscrupulous than myself to do the smear campaign. Alas, the truth is a cruel mistress.

  • lorn

    “efficiency of government bureaucracies such as the Postal Service”

    Dan Bongino needs to try to get Federal Express, or any of the other services, to deliver a letter anywhere in the US for under fifty cents. I have had other services lose packages but everything shipped by me , or to me, by the USPS has been delivered in good time.

    Both Medicare and Medicaid beat all private insurers in term of services rendered for dollars put into the system.

    Fact is that government run services can be more efficient than private businesses. Most private businesses would be doing well if they could become as efficient as their government run alternatives. In fact here is but one measure in which government run services fail, they don’t show a profit.

  • http://polrant@blogspot.com democommie

    @26:

    “In fact here is but one measure in which government run services fail, they don’t show a profit.

    Well, there you are, silly; gummint run stuff fails the only important test of the free market.

    AND, unlike the free market it has to be bailed out by the USA!USA!!USA!!! taxpayerz EVERY FUCKING YEAR!!!!

  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    …warning that health care in the U.S. will degrade to the efficiency of government bureaucracies such as the Postal Service.

    You mean it will make a necessary service available to all Americans, in a relatively timely manner, with no one filtering or intercepting any deliveries without good cause? That doesn’t sound like “degradation” to me.

    I’m really glad this asshat left the Secret Service. I wouldn’t want an idiot like this covering even Bush Jr’s back, let alone a President I respect. And as annoying as he is on the right-wing-talk-show circuit, that’s still better than letting him be a cop again.

  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    In fact here is but one measure in which government run services fail, they don’t show a profit.

    I heard somewhere that the USPS was making a profit — or at least paying for itself — before the forces of Free Enterprise forced them to make bulk-mailings even cheaper for big businesses than they already were.

  • a_ray_in_dilbert_space

    Doesn’t “Bongino” mean little bong in Italian?

  • eamick

    Dan Bongino needs to try to get Federal Express, or any of the other services, to deliver a letter anywhere in the US for under fifty cents.

    For that matter, you can send a letter from Guam to Puerto Rico for the same rate. Even better, some of FedEx’s services use USPS for part of the delivery process.

  • http://adventuresinzymology.blogspot.com JJ831

    @emick 32

    Thanks for the clarification (I guess I could have googled it, and in fact, I will).


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