Monica Goodling, Politics, and Adult Supervision
Aside from the obvious points about how it would be nice to have the people in charge of enforcing federal laws actually obey those laws, he makes a point many seem to miss:
I remember during the Clinton administration an ongoing theme amongst conservative commentators: a desire for “adults” to be in charge. How anyone who criticized the Clinton cabinet and staff for being overly immature can now defend this situation as anything other than a bunch of juveniles in charge of a key federal bureaucracy is beyond me.
Quite right. I heard a bit of her testimony late yesterday afternoon on the way in to a function in D.C. and it struck me that, moreso than being part of a sinister plot to politicize that which by law is supposed to be above partisan politics, she was simply in over her head.
Many of us rightly criticized Bill Clinton for filling key spots with under-35 wunderkinds with degrees from Oxford and the Ivies, who seemed to view governance as an extension of the dorm room bull sessions. From Cheney to Rumsfeld to Wolfowitz to Powell to Rice, Bush took the opposite approach, putting in people whose resumes were manifestly superb for the positions for which they were chosen (whatever one thinks of their subsequent performance). Unfortunately, from the administration of Iraq to the important second tier appointments, Bush went with the likes of Brownie, Goodling, and Harriet Miers.
Loyalty to the boss, the party, and their ideology is a reasonable enough expectation for executive appointees. The president has to be able to delegate day-to-day running of agencies to these people and to have faith in them. But, surely, there are plenty of people who fit that profile who are also actually competent and experienced?
The idea that a person applying for a senior career position would be interviewed by some kid in her early 30s with a dubious law degree and manifestly inferior qualifications to their own is simply insulting. And, to certainly, it’s no way to run a railroad.