Tuesday, September 20, 2005

It Can Be Lonely At The Bottom Too

In the wake of the inept FEMA response to Katrina, Kevin Drum at The Washington Monthly ponders which federal agency will be next to exhibit a meltdown, and votes for Treasury:
THE NEXT FEMA.... One of the reasons FEMA failed in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina is that it had suffered from four years of the Bush administration's signature commitment to cronyism combined with its signature contempt for serious policy development. Needless to say, though, this attitude toward governance affects everything the administration touches, not just FEMA. So where are we likely to see the next serious federal meltdown?

The Treasury Department seems like a good guess, especially because its decline is so obvious that it has united both liberals and conservatives in consternation.

Full article...
Then again, Washington Prowler, in the conservative The American Spectator, suggests that a meltdown may be underway across the whole administration:
Publicly, the White House will tell you that it intends to push ahead with two of its big legislative issues throughout the fall: making permanent the first term tax cuts and Social Security reform.

Even privately, with the political and policy debacle that the White House created with its Clintonian response to Hurricane Katrina, policy and political types at 1600 Pennsylvania insist what's left of an agenda is still viable.

But at this stage of the game, barring some imaginative political moves that bear some resemblance to the Bush Administration circa 2002, Republicans on Capitol Hill and even some longtime Bush team members in various Cabinet level departments say this Administration is done for.
Too pessimistic? Maybe not. Rumors are flying through various departments of longtime senior Bush loyalists looking to jump, but with few opportunities in the private sector to make the jump look like anything more than desperation. Almost daily, complaints from Cabinet level Departments come in to the White House about lack of communication coordination on even basic policy matters.

Full article...

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