Monday, September 06, 2004

Politics: White House-cleaning

USA Today has an article speculating what the turnover would be in the Bush Cabinet if he's reelected. Let's hope they're all out on their asses come January, but reading this article just makes me wonder how low are the expectations set and how high is the scandal bar set on these chumps? These are the only people who have "lost" their jobs in this Administration...
Only four Cabinet-level figures - Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill, CIA Director George Tenet, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Mel Martinez and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Christie Whitman - have left the administration.

O'Neill, replaced by John Snow, left in December 2002 under fire for a series of media gaffes (Media gaffes? You mean, telling the truth? Being honest about economic news and tax cuts? Loyalty over honesty and public service cost him his job.)and amid tepid economic growth. (Yeah, that was all his fault.)

Tenet cited personal reasons when he resigned earlier this year. But his departure came amid criticism for a variety of intelligence controversies, including the CIA's incorrect prediction that stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction would be found in Iraq. (Tenet's personal reason was for removal of the sword he volunteered to fall on)

Martinez, who left to run for the Senate in Florida, was replaced by Alphonso Jackson. Whitman also cited family reasons, but was seen as too moderate for the administration's conservative (extreme? radical? corporate rape of the environment?) views on the environment. She was replaced by former Utah governor and anti-environment extremist Mike Leavitt.

Two of those officials (O'Neill and Whitman) were basically forced out for actually trying serve the public by putting the brakes on this Administration's radical agenda, or at least daring to ask questions. Tenet deserved to lose his job long ago, but for some reason Bush stuck by him until he needed a scapegoat this summer, and Tenet stepped up for the chopping. But, Tenet does not really deserve the blame for intel failure as much as the Administration deserves blame for abusing the intel they received. Martinez is really the only guy who left on an "up" note.

The article continues:
The potential staffing jigsaw puzzle is not something administration officials talk about publicly because of its sensitivity, but many believe key Bush advisers such as national security adviser Condoleezza Rice, Secretary of State Colin Powell, Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Attorney General John Ashcroft will be among those who exit.

That's really a who's who list of the Bush cabinet. Who the hell cares about Elaine Chao and whatever cabinet posts are left? More:

The most prominent scenarios:

NSA: Rice has broadly hinted that she will leave her post if Bush is re-elected, but there are no clear indications of what she might do next. Some friends think she'll return to California and pursue a political career there. Others think she would accept a Cabinet post, possibly Defense or State. (By all rights Rice should have been the first person fired for 9/11. She should have been fired again in absentia for her incompetence in the State of the Union / Niger fiasco. The fact that she is considered for promotions, never mind still drawing a paycheck, is astonishing to me. She is emblematic of everything wrong with this Administration. Delegation without any accountability. As far as her future, she shouldn't be trusted to run for dogcatcher, but she'll probably end up the junior Senator from California in a few years...)

Potential successors mentioned most often: Deputy National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley (the only person more incompetent than Rice, Hadley is the fool who actually "lost the memo on his desk" about the SOTU address.); Lewis "Scooter" Libby (if he's not in jail for disclosing the identity of a CIA operative), chief of staff to Vice President Cheney; Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz or National Security Council Iraq expert Robert Blackwill (Yeah, those are two guys who've earned a promotion. What exactly have Wolfowitz, Blackwill and the "experts" actually gotten right about Iraq?)

SOS: State Department officials say that Powell is a virtual certainty to leave government along with his chief deputy and longtime friend, Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage. Potential successors mentioned most often: United Nations Ambassador John Danforth, a former Missouri senator; former chief U.S. administrator in Iraq Paul Bremer (another guy who did a bang-up job)and Rice.

DOD: Rumsfeld is viewed as likely to leave, though some administration officials and defense experts say he could hang tough for a while in order to defy Democratic calls for his resignation over the Iraqi prisoner scandal and the Iraq war.

"If he were to leave, his reputation would be tarnished by how badly the Iraq mission has gone," says Michael O'Hanlon, a foreign policy and military expert at the Brookings Institution, a Washington think tank. "To vindicate his place in history and to recover from that setback, there would be a powerful pull for him to stay." (Ah, how noble. Reputation first. National security and country second, if at all.)

Wolfowitz is an unlikely successor, given his unpopularity on Capitol Hill and the likelihood of a bruising Senate confirmation fight. (Then how exactly does he become a likely replacement for Rice?)

Potential successors mentioned most often: Rice, Ridge or Arizona Sen. John McCain.

I was going to go right on down the list, but after the musical chairs of undeserving, incompetent jackasses that will be competing for our country's most vital security positions, it's just to damn depressing / infuriating. If this were Russia, these guys would be manning landfills in Siberia.

How is it that all these clowns, most of which should have long ago lost their jobs if not been brought up on charges, will get a choice to resign to cushy private sector jobs they arranged for themselves while in office or promotions to even more important roles. Each of whom will be replaced by their often more corrupt or incompetent colleagues or assistants.

A special level of Hell reserved for this Administration isn't good enough for me. I want someone to pay for something, sometime while it still matters...

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