Tuesday, November 16, 2004

The Insider's Cabinet

So much for bipartisanship and reaching out to the other side. Six cabinet members have resigned, and in two cases, the President has appointed members of his immediate insider staff to fill the vacancies. Both Gonzalez and Rice have viewpoints more akin to W’s, and are much more likely to be loyal to his hue.

The President, of course, has the right to create that situation. Any executive wants to have loyal administrators to run his primary units – in this case, foreign policy and justice. But the implications for the country are much larger than in a private business. Both the State Department and the Department of Justice have well-educated, knowledgeable staff who bring experience and expertise to the discussion. The Cabinet secretary has a responsibility to listen to those viewpoints, and not simply run roughshod over them in blind pursuance of an Executive mandate. The purpose is to have a Cabinet member who brings that knowledge to the President’s table, and the team formulates policy from that discussion.

But then, maybe I believe too much of what I learned in civics class.

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