Teasin' the Bureaucrats
I study the arcane rituals of that species known as beltus australopithecines (known colloquially as "inside the beltway types") and the things they find compelling always amaze me. Of course they have forgotten more about politics than I know so this post is necessarily of the "how can this be?" rather than "they are wrong!".
One little mystery is this brou-ha-ha over Bernard Kerik. I puzzle over how this will harm the career of Guiliani. I haven't read much about this since I find it mind-numbingly boring, but the 50,000 foot view is that Guiliani put up Kerik and thus embarrassed the President for all of six minutes. Are not failed candidacies for cabinet positions painful only to the candidate himself/herself? Does anyone outside the candidate's nuclear family gives a rat's a*s about this flub? Is someone going to say, "well, I think the President was right about Iraq, but he screwed up with the DHS nomination so I'm not going to vote for Guiliani". Yet somehow not only is the President damaged, but even a third-party twice-removed type like Guiliani. Amazing. I suppose the thinking is Bush will hold a grudge for gosh sakes. He doesn't strike me as that petty.
It's great that someone is watching the homefront and has the President's ear. So, assuming Ridge did more than make air travel more painful & color code threat levels, this wouldn't seem to be a bad cabinet position, if you're into them. But Commerce? Education? Education is a prime example of a useless cabinet post. It was a way to getting people to think you care about edu-ma-cation without doing anything. Since the Dep't originated, S.A.T. scores have dropped and more and more children got "left behind".
Cabinet posts and gov't spending tend to grow like lichen on creek rocks. At some point we'll have to build a bigger cabinet room for those weekly photo ops with the President. It's not widely known, but the White House is considering additional departments and I obtained the list from my friend Bob Novak. Without further ado, the new posts are: "Department of the Internet", "Department of Sports" (for the regulation of steroid abuse and overturning wretched rules like the designated hitter), "Department for the Ethical Treatment of Republicans" (requested by Tom DeLay) and the "Department of Departments" (to keep track of all the cabinet positions).