Friday, September 09, 2005

Political Patronage: DON'T FRONT (on Kharma, the Hook-up & other thoughts on the FEMA Chief's "Reassignment") ...

Let's not get ahead of ourselves. Cool: FEMA Chief Michael Brown needed a boot back to DC, but it's obvious the Administration failed to outright fire him. This would be the responsible course of action. That's not happening, of course, because Politics 101 dictates the dominance of the hook-up and connections over government performance and efficiency that effectively serves the interest of the people.

We disagree completely with the notion that this is confined to the Bush Administration - the President is simply masterful at how he does it. This is an entrenched cultural problem where individuals are hired or appointed based on personal or political relationships rather than on merit or true experience - it's not what you know, but who you know. This is nothing new; networking, nepotism and favoritism at the expense of performance, good management and accountability. That's how Washington and every crevice of our professional fabric operates. Many Americans are disgruntled, unhappy professionals working in companies or institutions they despise because, despite their qualifications, they may not know the latest golf swing or the latest happening power-lunch spot. Let's be real for a moment: we're seeing the devastating consequences of that tendency unfolding before our eyes.


There are a multitude of hypocrites out there calling for Brown's resignation and citing his putrid lack of credentials. Democrats, Republicans and most political junkies inside the Beltway are as guilty as the Administration for this sordid practice. Let's not front like we don't know or don't do it, too.