I believe that many of the Bush administration’s worst failures can be attributed to the fact that they staffed the federal bureaucracy with cronies and idiots. A FEMA not led by Michael Brown would have reacted differently to Katrina, a DoD not led by Rummy, Wolfie, DiRita, and the dumbest fucking person on the planet wouldn’t have fucked up the planning of Iraq so badly, an economic team not led by clowns like Chris Cox and John Snow would have done a better job of dealing with the then looming financial crisis.
Of course, the Villagers don’t care about this kind of thing. It involves smart, faceless, unglamorous bureaucrats, not dashing mavericks or Texas cowboys or wise old men from the heartland. But my gut feeling is that DeBushifying the federal bureaucracy is going to be a lot more of a problem than anyone thinks. You’ve probably read about the Bush appointees who burrowed themselves into nonpolitical positions at TPM. But what caught my eye is the hard-on that David Brooks and Mike Gerson have for the Bush Global AIDS Coordinator (Mark Dybul) who was recently let go. Brooks wrote about how great it was that it looked like Obama was keeping him on, Gerson threw a hissy fit when Obama let him go.
Gerson and Brooks are the types you have to keep an eye on. They’re sneaky fuckers; unlike, say, Charles Krauthammer and George Will, who are mostly peddling their own crazy brand of nonsense, Gerson and Brooks are generally working a long con. You can be pretty sure they didn’t get all hot and bothered about Dybul at the same time by accident.
So watch out for a lot of media backlash as Obama starts kicking the Bush lackeys to the curb. Remember Travelgate.
And there’s one other thing here to keep in mind, and I don’t want to push this too far (for fearing of sounding like a nut), but no public Republican that I know of has renounced and rejected (or whatever it was Obama was supposed to do with Jeremiah Wright) Rush Limbaugh’s statements about wanting Obama to fail. I’ll bet that most Bush appointees who remain in Washington want Obama to fail as well, but getting them all out is going to be tricky.