Monday, August 27, 2007
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John Dickerson sums it up for me
In the wake of Alberto Gonzales' resignation, John Dickerson has a Slate column that nicely summarizes a big deficit in Bush's managerial style:
The personnel failures make it very hard for Bush fans to defend the president because they so deeply undermine the tenets of his management style as he articulates it. Bush has often talked in almost mystical terms about his ability to take the measure of people by looking them in the eye. His most infamous snap judgment, early in his first term, was peeking into the soul of Vladimir Putin and finding goodness. But even with years of presidential experience, he continues to make terrible judgments about the aptitudes of his own staffers. Harriet Miers and Alberto Gonzales may be very nice people, but they were never competent for the jobs Bush wanted them to have.This has undoubtedly been a key failing of Bush's managerial style. But it's hardly the only one.
posted by Dan on 08.27.07 at 02:20 PM
Alberto Gonzalez, one of the cabal who gave 'legal' cover for the gov't to constantly violate our rights:
And it only seems like yesterday that this administration was being lauded as the most MBA heavy in history - the first president with an MBA!
From my experience in the topsy turvy real world of capitalism in the private sector, GW doesn't seem that atypical from a lot of MBA types I've worked with and for. They almost to a person have the same divergence between their image - i.e. an emotionless, analytical decision making machine - and the reality - i.e. heavily invested in their carefully manicured networks, basing decisions about things they cannot possibly comprehend on what the crop of sycophants that they have unconsciously accumulated whisper in their ears.
I don't think this is a failing of Bush so much as the religious like belief that conservatives put into the whole "running government like a business" mythos.
He's simply a product of his environment. Y'all should really own up to this crap... Facing failures rather than pawning them off on scapegoats is the only way to improve the system, after all.
Sloughing this off as merely Bush's failure seems like a rather blinkered and tragically limited view of reality.
But what the hey. It's not like this isn't a constant feature.posted by: Hal on 08.27.07 at 02:20 PM [permalink]
These are criticisms from people who've done what?posted by: Thomas Esmond Knox on 08.27.07 at 02:20 PM [permalink]
That's not really a rebuttal. "I'd like to see you be a better President" is hardly fit for anything outside the schoolyard.
-Trollposted by: Troll on 08.27.07 at 02:20 PM [permalink]
I'm with Hal, in my long experience the more elite the MBA...........
1) the bigger the ego
John Dickerson writes "Donald Rumsfeld, Harriet Miers, and Michael Brown—animated failures who could not be controlled or improved with good public relations". In my opinion an administration that can "control" it's members or can use "public relations" to improve them are bigger failures than an administration that sticks by imperfect people acting in a time of crisis.
As for his choice of targets Rumsfeld and Gonzales made tough decisions to fight the war on terror. Both are intelligent and accomplished (Rumsfeld much more so) men. We can never prove if they were more right than wrong. Michael Brown was stuck with a giant mess not only from Katrina (a rare category 5 hurricane) but an infrastructure laid waste by local officials corruption and incompetence. Look at the post Brown FEMA--millions of dollars disappeared through fraud, corruption and incompetence. Harriet Meirs was not proven incompetent only that she did not have commonly acceptable qualifications for the supreme court.
This kind of critique is just part of the game of journalists versus politicians. Where the journalists always win because the journalists make up the rules. Good politicians play to win the real game.
What does "animated failure" mean anyway?posted by: Tim H on 08.27.07 at 02:20 PM [permalink]
testposted by: Zathras on 08.27.07 at 02:20 PM [permalink]
Let's keep in mind, shall we, that anyone capable of making that cretinous statement about Putin is capable of damn near any kind of irrational misjudgment?posted by: Bruce Moomaw on 08.27.07 at 02:20 PM [permalink]
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