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And, yes, I DO take it personally: Heritage provided the intellectual horsepower for the Bushies to politicize our government
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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Heritage provided the intellectual horsepower for the Bushies to politicize our government

while reading a jim hightower article reprinted in alternet, i was pointed to a 2001 heritage foundation report that contains these eye-opening points...
Career civil servants should not be tasked with formulating and executing the details of an agenda for major policy change. Political appointees, personally loyal to the President and fully committed to his policy agenda, are essential to his success...


The President needs a full cadre of personnel committed to him and his agenda in the federal agencies that execute the details of national policy.

  • The new President must make liberal use of his power of appointment, get a loyal team in place to carry out his agenda, and insist on accountability while maintaining a clear distinction between career and non-career employees.
  • Political appointments to key policymaking positions must be made in a timely fashion.
  • Political appointees must be in charge of implementing the President's policies and readily available to speak for the Administration.
  • Political appointees should make key management decisions; such decisions should not be delegated to the career bureaucracy.
robert moffit, the author of the report, calls this the "political administration model..." he continues with this caveat, the outcome of which has been evident from the earliest days of the bush administration, most recently on display in the justice department...
[T]he Office of Presidential Personnel (OPP) must make appointment decisions based on loyalty first and expertise second, and that the whole governmental apparatus must be managed from this perspective. Picking appointees who are "best for the job" merely in terms of expert qualifications can be disastrous for an Administration genuinely committed to change, because the best qualified are already in the career positions and part of the status quo--the permanent government.

and so, political appointees, chosen above all else for their loyalty and frequently without any depth of expertise in the areas in which they are placed, end up overriding and overruling those who DO have the expertise in order to accomplish a political agenda... while this could conceivably be a good thing IF the ruling political administration was truly serving the common good of the nation, for a presidential administration with only two items on its agenda, power and money, it's an unmitigated disaster, not for those in power, of course, but for the country...

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