Thursday, September 29, 2005

Friends and Friends of Friends

Over at The Corner, John Podhoretz is doing some serious thinking about Bush's options vis a vis the Supreme Court.

One of the Democratic talking points that is getting some traction is the Crony Talking Point -- the idea that this presidency is made up of friends and friends of friends who all do business together and whose qualifications matter less than their connections to GWB. Since nobody on earth aside from Bush would actually consider Gonzales or Miers a suitable Supreme Court nominee, the appointment of either would smack precisely of the cronyism with which he is (in my view) being unfairly tarred. Bush would be giving his critics some very serious ammunition to use against him at a time when he can't afford to do such a thing.
Now that's good advice. Don't give your enemies "very serious ammunition" to use against you, unless you can afford it. Strategery, thy name is Podhoretz!

I don't usually trouble myself about what goes on at The Corner, any more than I keep tabs on the rats at the City Dump. But I do find it interesting that the Divine Wind of conservative triumphalism no longer blows fiercely enough to inflate purely decorative windsocks like John Podhoretz.

The "Crony Talking Point" is, to Podhoretz's mind, apparently a dirty trick on a par with the Wedgie, the Wet Willie, and the dreaded Rear Admiral...acts of casual brutality I'm sure he remembers all too well from those dark days before he learned - at his father's knee, no doubt - how important it is to suck up to witless bullies.

Where do Democrats get these talking points, anyway? Sure, Bush hired his pal Joe Allbaugh to head FEMA. But to be fair, Allbaugh had displayed valuable disaster-management skills during the Funeralgate scandal, when he aggressively covered up for a shockingly corrupt funeral services firm called SCI, which is run by a close friend of the Bush family.

And yeah, Allbaugh did indeed bring his old college chum Michael Brown to FEMA. But contrary to what liberal pundits would have you believe, Brown did have relevant experience: he'd repeatedly been sued for defamation and incompetence. Much is made of the fact that Brown had previously worked for the International Arabian Horse Association, but what people fail to note is that he had no relevant experience when he took that job, either. Kind of puts a different perspective on things, doesn't it?

As FEMA director, Brown hired a wholly owned subsidiary of SCI called Kenyon International to oversee the collection and disposal of corpses in New Orleans. But then again, who else was he supposed to hire? Did you want that job? I sure didn't!

Personally, I'm sticking with liberalism because I'm favor of mandatory homosexuality, and because I want representation for NAMBLA at the UN. But when I look at the paltriness of these Crony Talking Points, I have to agree with John Podhoretz: we can be pretty goddamn unfair sometimes.


Eli said...

Repeatedly sued for defamation and incompetence? You're right, he does sound like an eminently qualified Republican.

I notice he doesn't make any effort to actually explain *why* the Crony Talking Point (or, as I would call it, the Shoe-Fitting Talking Point) is so bogus and unfair and tar-ry.

juniper pearl said...

it is unfair. we should all be able to get any job we want through our circle of friends and acquaintances; what other reason is there for having them? it's all about the back scratching, baby.

to be honest, i don't know how solely responsible bush is. i think he has an immediate circle of people he trusts pretty blindly, and when they come to him with whatever motivation they have and say, hey, george, you should give this guy this job, he does it. since he's never had to be qualified for any position he's held himself, it probably wouldn't occur to him to question it.