Pat Buchanan
With the number of Secret Service members and agents caught up in the partying-with-prostitutes scandal in Cartagena now at a dozen, and six already gone, how much wider and deeper does this go?

No one can take pleasure in seeing Secret Service agents -- whose deserved reputation is that they will "take a bullet" for the president, his family and all whom they protect -- shamed and disgraced.

Yet one would have to be naive to believe this was some isolated incident. No sooner was the first day's work done in Cartagena than 20 hookers were trooping into the hotel rooms of SS agents, supervisors and members of the military advance team.

And Sen. Charles Grassley asks a relevant question.

As the Secret Service travel and work in close contact with the White House Advance Office and White House Communications Agency, was the Obama staff oblivious to this misconduct? If they were aware of it, did no one report it to the White House chief of staff?

Hostile intelligence services often use "honey traps" to ensnare U.S. diplomats and journalists. Thus this hookers-and-agents scandal is no laughing matter.

And it hit just as we learned that the General Services Administration, purchasing agent for the U.S. government, shelled out $823,000 on a party for 300 employees at a casino-spa in Las Vegas, where the hired entertainment included a mind reader, a clown and a $75,000 bicycle-building exercise.

Jeff Neeley, the GSA western regional commissioner, invoked the Fifth Amendment rather than testify to Congress about what is now being investigated as criminal misconduct.

President Obama's appointee to head GSA, Martha Johnson, has resigned.

Infinitely larger in terms of the tax dollars looted or lost is the Solyndra scandal, where a green technology company favored by the White House went belly up after receiving an endorsement visit from Obama and an astonishing half-billion dollars in federal loan guarantees.

These events all point to a culture of entitlement born of a belief that now that the Democratic Party, the Party of Government, is again running the government, we can "let the good times roll" once more.

And so we see President Obama for six months literally campaigning on the public dime. Not a day seems to pass that he is not helicoptering off the White House lawn on Marine One to Andrews Air Force Base to board Air Force One to fly to some swing state, while his staff finds an official cover event so the White House can charge most of the trip to taxpayers.

Has any other president spent so many days campaigning, half a year and a year before the traditional Labor Day start of the election season, or used tax dollars so flagrantly to buy re-election?

Pat Buchanan

Pat Buchanan is a founding editor of The American Conservative magazine, and the author of many books including State of Emergency: The Third World Invasion and Conquest of America .
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