Thursday, September 15, 2005

Article: Good News - Karl Rove is in Charge

So the good news is that Karl Rove is now in charge of the reconstruction effort in the Gulf Coast.

Now I know what you're thinking - this is good news? WTF? Read on...

Here's how the Bush Administration works: 99% of all policy decisions are made at the White House by about 20-40 loyal insiders. Karl Rove near the top of this food chain, second only to the Vice President and sometimes Condi Rice.

The rest of the government is run almost entirely by political appointees with almost no substantive experience within their policy area. These patronage appointees have very simple jobs - stay out of the news carry out the wishes of the White House regardless of the opinions of the professionals who work for you.

The further down you go in terms of perceived importance, the less experience patronage appointees have. FEMA was considered a very unimportant agency by the Bush administration, and so it is staffed almost entirely by total losers who want to do nothing but collect a government paycheck as reimbursement for working on Bush's campaign and donating money to Republicans.

In every previous administration since the civil service reforms of the Pendleton Act back in 1883, the exact opposite was true - top Cabinet positions often went to loyal party men, but the closer you got to the front line workers, the more experienced their political appointee managers would be. It was once common that career civil servants, especially in the Foreign Service, would be appointed to these managerial positions because of their knowledge and expertise - regardless of political party. No longer.

This is why its good news that Karl Rove is now in charge of the reconstruction efforts in the Gulf Coast. There is no one at FEMA in a position of importance who has the necessary experience to do the job right. I doubt there is a political appointee anywhere in this administration that has the experience to do the job right.

But Karl Rove has the power to get things done. He'll probably do a lousy job at it, and will spend most of his time on the PR of the reconstruction. But at least he'll be doing something, and not impotently showing up to press briefings like Michael Brown- and when it comes to saving human lives - something is better then nothing.

Sadly, this picture has not been Photoshopped.

Hat tip to the Washington Post and Ameriblog.


<-Back to the Main Page