Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Chauffeur Blues

I'm glad Tom Daschle got bounced as nominee for Health & Human Services. He's fine for a consultant role on health care; he can be a message boy with a chauffeured car, which is what he's been doing for the past four years around D.C. But not smart enough to hire a first rate tax accountant as he compensated himself for all those years he starved on a senator's salary. The Prez has been so intent on loading up key positions with elite insiders that he's forgotten he needs clear-eyed outsiders warning him about the insiders. How many of Obama's nominees have made us say, "Wow, excellent pick!" ? Mostly, they've been "Well, alright" with no exclamation point. Anyway, we don't know yet how much pull the "lesser" Cabinet Secretaries will have inside the West Wing. Nowadays, they're generally expected to behave modestly, keep in touch with the same cronies they had before they were appointed, & stay out of sight except when ordered to announce some policy, program, or initiative not important enough for the full presidential fanfare, or stand next to the president when The Man wants to take the credit.

Two weeks isn't enough time for the Repugs to claim they're the "principled opposition." If Daschle was a Bush appointee, they'd be rushing to change the tax codes regarding use of company cars & cutting SCHIP to cover the loss in revenues.


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