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Sunday, April 26, 2009

Obama's Cabinet: A Motley Crew of Misfits, Criminals and Incompetents

Who would have thought that after almost a hundred days, it would be Hillary Clinton that would be one of Obama's least controversial advisors? Of course, a cabinet, once referred to by the mainstream as a supreme collection of professionals, has turned into nothing short of a motley crue of misfits, criminals, and incompetents. In fact, the last of problematic cabinet choices is so large that I know that I will forget many important missteps in Obama's cabinet.

It all started when it was revealed that his original Commerce Secretary pick, Bill Richardson, was being investigated in a pay to play scheme. More recently, car czar, Steve Rattner, is also being investgated in his own pay to play scheme. These two are only the beginning of Obama's advisors that are caught up in legal and ethical scandals.

The most high profile of the missteps came with the nomination of Tim Geithner. Starting with the revelations about his own tax problems, the Treasury Secretary has become the butt of many jokes. His initial release of his four point economic plan was so vague that the market dropped several hundred points. Ever since, Geithner has struggled for the confidence of Wall Street, the beltway, and main street. Other lower profile nominees including Hilda Solis, Tom Daschle, Ron Kirk, Nancy Killefer, and Kathleen Sebelius have also been plagued by revelations of unpaid taxes. Both Killefer and Daschle ultimately had their nominations derailed as a result.

Kathleen Sebelius, yet to be confirmed, has also recently had to disclose that she initially under reported donations from Dr. George Tiller, a Kansas abortion doctor known for performing thousands of late term abortions. Then there is the nomination of Rosa Brooks, to a mid level post at the Pentagon. Brooks, most recently an L.A. Times columnists and Georgetown University professor, is known for not only her virulent anti Bush perspectives, but her equally virulent anti Israel stance and her connection to George Soros. Her last column called for a bailout for the newspapers.

Brooks wasn't the only questionable choice for a position on national security issues. The most high profile misstep came when Obama nominated Chas Freeman to head the National Intelligence Council. This position requires no confirmation and so it became nearly unprecedented when Freeman's name was withdrawn. Outcry came from many statements by Freeman that were also viewed as anti Israel, soft on China's record on civil rights, as well as his connections to the Saudi royal family.

Then, there is the Homeland Security Secretary, Janet Napolitano. She has made a series of her missteps that have even created a small amount of calls for her resignation. She drew the ire of the Canadians when she said that some of the 9/11 hijackers entered through Canada. She also inaccurately said that entering the country illegally is not a crime. Of course, her biggest gaffe was releasing a DHS report that singled out conservative "terrorists" including those returning from war.

There is also lesser known scandals involving second in command at HUD, Ron Sims and and the controversy surrounding Dawn Johnsen to head of the Office of Legal Counsel.
The scary thing is that most often the most scandalous events come from decisions cabinet members and advisors make while in office. The Obama administration has attained a stunningly large number of scandals largely before that can even occur. Imagine the scandal we are in for when this group of misfits, incompetents, and criminals actually has a chance to craft policy.

1 comment:

Donald Douglas said...

Thanks for the link, man!