Hanlon's Razor , the best I can trace it, is typically delivered: “Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.” This keeps me from expending too much energy figuring motives when bureaucrats line up square pegs and pound at round holes. In the case of requiring farmers to comply with federal Department of Transportation commercial driver’s license rules under the Motor Carrier Safety Act, we witnessed in action just what the huge uptick in federal hiring will continue to deliver.
As the rule changes were suggested, the normal cycle came into full view.
It goes something like this:
1) Non-elected federal rule makers float a new regulation that would turn an industry upside down.
2) Members of said industry funnel time, money and energy away from their usually productive schedule to point out how ridiculous and damaging the new rules would be.
3) Public relations professionals, lawyers and lobbyists draw up grand plans and multi-layer billing schemes to counter the proposed rules in the sphere of public opinion.
4) Mass media smells a story that will get emotional reaction from readers and viewers, dispatching staff to capture the drama.
5) The public is duly outraged.
6) The bureaucrats at the rule-making agency respond by saying they’re just doing their jobs to make everyone’s life safer, longer and more fulfilling, but that, obviously, they never intended such a ridiculous rule be inflicted on the affected industry.
And once that’s done, Media Matters reminds us it was all an right-wing conspiracy. Never mind that pesky Federal Register.
It’s our great republic at work.