After yesterday’s gloomy post about how we have failed to defend ourselves from nefarious elected officials, I read this story praising the bureaucracy for imposing some accountability on the government. Christopher Hayes writes:

But a funny thing has happened over the past six years. At a time when the press failed to check a reactionary Administration, when the opposition party all too often chose timidity, it was the lowly and anonymous bureaucrats, clad in rumpled suits, ID badges dangling from their necks, who, in their own quiet, behind-the-scenes way, took to the ramparts to defend the integrity of the American system of government.

This is why President Bush’s signing statements are so important. Federal agencies under the executive branch pay attention to them.