In what has become a time-honored tradition of the current regime, a political hack subordinate to the ranking political hack (also known as POTUS) is rewarded by a coveted position.
Many people wrongly believe that the Dubya label is an armband, or perhaps the American flag in its ubiquitous magnetized form. But in fact the Dubya brand is the Brownie, called so after the oft-relieved, variously transferred and sometimes pink-slipped former head of FEMA.
We see the Brownie label on George Tenet. By failing to gather accurate intelligence, and then failing to accurately reveal what the CIA did know, Tenet was rewarded with one of the longest tenures of any CIA Director, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Paul Wolfowitz wears the Brownie label. A failed strategist, incompetent Middle Eastern expert, funky phantasmagoric visionary of some other people’s future in some other people’s land? Yes, it’s all true. But to the White House, Wolfie remains fully qualified — indeed, an exceptional candidate — for his recent promotion from world policeman to World Banker.
The Harriet Miers saga is the second great example of how to succeed in Bush politics. Recall, if you will, the first.
Fatherly figure and political animal from way back, Cheney was assigned the job of finding a Vice Presidential candidate for our dear leader in 2000.
Cheney, as history will attest, failed miserably at this simple task. He could find no worthy candidate, and sadly reported this dire news to the presidential hopeful.
Imagine Cheney’s surprise when Bush picked him instead! Five years later, we see that the system remains golden. Harriet, legal advisor to the President, was a key member of the Supreme Court candidate search committee, along with Karl Rove, Dick Cheney and Alberto Gonzales. They searched and searched for a qualified candidate among hundreds of conservative judges to fill the vacancies on the court.
As in the vice-presidential search, former deputy Chief of Staff and current White House Counsel Harriet Miers could find no one. Not a one.
But déjà vu isn’t just for baseball players anymore. Bush nominates Harriet! Glory be!
I have long harbored a plan, as many readers may have surmised, to head the search committee for the replacement of the aging Don Rumsfeld.
Certainly, we all agree that Rumsfeld should be replaced and given the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Perhaps even two of them. And Mr. President, I want to head that search committee.
I’ll look and look, much as our dear leader once looked for missing WMDs in Iraq. I will search diligently, between sycophantic dinner parties and appearances on Fox News, for a new Secretary of Defense who will be suited to continue in our 21st century military tradition as the world’s most powerful baby with nukes. I will consult with spiritual Republican leaders like Pat Robertson and Dr. Dobson for advice. I promise to do all this and more.
Yet, when the time comes, I fear that I will have to report to the President that I have failed utterly. Miserably, disastrously, shamefully, I will fail. I will tell him that I am not worthy.
From my prone and prostrate position, I hope to see, from the corner of my eye, a beneficent smirk from the old chimp, to be followed with a grand and generous gesture.
My Brownie will be worn with pride. It will be three for three, the pundits will write. "He chose wisely," the TV commentators will solemnly reflect.
The President will call me "Shorty" except when I am particularly entertaining and then it will be "Girl Genius." Tragically, Turd Blossom is already taken.
Rumsfeld will comfort me, as he comforted our great military time and time again. "You go to war with the nicknames you have, not the ones you would like to have."
It’s going to be great. Good luck, Harriet!
Karen Kwiatkowski, Ph.D., [send her mail] is a retired USAF lieutenant colonel, who spent her final four and a half years in uniform working at the Pentagon. She lives with her freedom-loving family in the Shenandoah Valley, and among other things, writes a bi-weekly column on defense issues with a libertarian perspective for militaryweek.com.