The March 2017 No Good Deed Goes Unpunished Award goes to Mr. Robert Eitel, Esq.
Eitel is an attorney in Virginia. He moved there after Hurricane Katrina swept him and his family from their home in Slidell, La. He soon bounced back and became the second-ranking lawyer in President George W. Bush’s Education Department.
After the Bush years, Eitel represented a number of legal clients, including Bridgepoint Education, Inc., which operates several for-profit universities.
Eitel recently decided to do some good for our country by serving on the “landing team” that is helping the Trump administration ease its transition into the U.S. Department of Education.
And that’s when the ingratitude and abuse began.
The staff of America’s execrable former “Paper of Record” rolled out one of their typical “news story” attack pieces. They blasted Eitel for having what they, with their warped mindset, consider a conflict of interest.
Never mind that Eitel was on leave from Bridgepoint, and that he cleared his former Bridgepoint legal work with the Education Department’s Office of Ethics. In fact, he reportedly consulted with ethics authorities at Education on February 14, 16, and 21. But, Pravda on the Hudson insinuates, the mere fact that Eitel huddled with the Office of Ethics proves that he is corrupt. By that logic, if Eitel had visited his physician for an annual checkup, that alone would demonstrate that he is riven with disease.
And, of course, if Eitel had not spoken with the Office of Ethics, his critics would showcase that as evidence of corruption. There is simply no way for conservatives to win when it comes to the Left and its sinking “journalistic” flagship.
Most puzzling is Senator Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.). Fauxcahontas barked at DeVos during her confirmation hearings to become Secretary of Education: “You have no personal experience with college financial aid or management of higher education.”
Now, Warren has written in a letter to DeVos, Eitel’s work as a “compliance officer for for-profit colleges [raises] concerns about whether [he] would be able to advise you in an objective fashion on higher education matters.” In short: Eitel has too much personal experience in higher education.
So, in the world according to Elizabeth Warren, one should have experience in higher education but not have experience in higher education.
I met Bob Eitel when we both were freshmen at Georgetown University in 1982. In the times we have spoken since we graduated in 1986, Bob has remained the gentleman I remember from our four years on campus: low-key, sober, quietly amiable, and moderately conservative — surely in style and evidently in substance.
As our mutual friend Quin Hillyer has written to defend Bob against these absurd and fabricated accusations: “Bob Eitel is exactly the sort of man — studious, thoughtful, accomplished, unselfish, honest — we should want as a close adviser to a Cabinet member.”
For her part, Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin has been equally baffled by this invented non-issue. “What, then, is a public-spirited official to do?” Rubin wondered on March 21. “If someone with relevant experience and the right background wants to serve, and goes above and beyond ethics requirements, they will soon learn there is no way to be hired without being accused of impropriety. As a result, qualified and ethical people won’t serve.”
President Donald J. Trump has some 1,000 or so political vacancies to fill across the Obama-infused federal bureaucracy. Eitel’s treatment — for doing nothing other than devoting himself to the American people — presents a needlessly discouraging Help Wanted sign to others.
And maybe that’s why the Trump-hating Left is trying to create a scandal where none exists.