Sunday, September 25, 2005

Risky business

David Olive suggests that Bushco's track record could cause suspicions about businesspeople in government for a long time to come:
(F)uture historians will make the connection between the most CEO-heavy administration in memory, headed by the first MBA president (Harvard, no less), and a White House of unsurpassed fiscal recklessness, flawed strategic thinking, failure to execute even on its best ideas (its unrealized goals of education reform and energy self-sufficiency, for instance), and a stubborn unwillingness to change course when conditions dictate...

(A) sustainably prosperous business doesn't hand vital tasks to cronies, fail to vet its suppliers, starve essential employees of job fulfillment, or blame its shortcomings on bogeymen.

It's a pity the GOP running mates didn't say what kind of business they had in mind — the managerial prowess of a General Electric Co., or the train-wreck of Enron Corp.

Amen to that. Olive points out the unfairness in tarring all CEOs with the same brush when a good number of Bushco's members either filled the role in name only, or were miserable failures in the job. But Bush has ultimately turned the usual stereotypes of business and government on their head, having replaced the relatively non-partisan and merit-based civil service inherited from Clinton with "businessmen" who have shown precious little competence at anything other than turning every arm of the government into a partisan tool. And there's no way to avoid noticing a pattern among the people involved.

There's going to be an awful lot of damage to repair. But the counterbalance to that is that whatever part of the ugly truth hasn't yet surfaced will come out once Bush is out of power. And once voters know the true damage, that should help ensure a healthy suspicion toward anybody pushing a similar form of government.

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