Boondoggle

One blogger’s personal bridge to nowhere

Why I am less qualified than Tom Daschle

Permit me a silly thought experiment:

daschle

That's not me.

Let’s say, just for the sake of argument (hear that, IRS?), that I did not pay my taxes.  Let’s also say, in a much more unrealistic leap of imagination, that President Obama nominated me to become Secretary of Health and Human Services.  I daresay the Senate would reject my nomination.

But why would the Senate reject my nomination?  This isn’t as stupid a question as it sounds (okay, it is as stupid a question as it sounds, but just bear with me).  The Senate would reject my nomination because I have no experience whatsoever dealing with health and human services.  I would not be rejected for the ancillary problem that I had failed to pay my taxes.  That’s an issue, sure, and more of one for someone like Daschle, but my point remains: the focus would be on my utter unpreparedness for the position, not on my accounting misdemeanors.

This silly example is just a way of demonstrating that the most important attribute in a Secretary of Health and Human Services is experience dealing with health and human services, of which Mr. Daschle has plenty.  Let my juvenile analogy be a plea for voting on nominees based on competence in the job in question, not on whether they fucked up on some totally unrelated part of their life.

Maybe, though, I’d be accepted, because I don’t wear red glasses.

(image from flickr user talkradionews under a Creative Commons license)

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February 4, 2009 - Posted by | U.S. politics | , ,

1 Comment »

  1. Booney,

    I must say I whole-heartedly disagree with you on this one. Obviously, Daschle is qualified to be Secretary of Health and Human Services, but his blatant disregard for the law and his lack of apology for doing so (I believe he characterized the $100,000+ taxes owed as a “mistake”) makes him unqualified to be on Obama’s cabinet and a prominent member of the administration.

    Sadly, I agree with Maureen Dowd. After two years of holier-than-thou moral rhetoric and ceaseless criticism of the Bush administration, it’s insulting that Obama’s nominees are not only tax evaders but unapologetic tax evaders. It is precisely this kind of above the law attitude that outraged us about the Bush administration.

    If Daschle had admitted fault immediately and acknowledged that when his accountant was fudging or mischaracterizing income that he looked the other way or gave his imprimatur to cheat it would be a different story, but his constant defense that it was a mistake is insulting.

    While it’s saddening that HHS is now without a nominee and frustrating that the new secretary of the Department may not be as immediately well qualified as Daschle is on paper, I will be thrilled that this administration will not be replete with people who have willingly and unapologetically cheated the American people.

    To tell you the truth, so far, I haven’t seen any change we can believe in.

    Comment by ari | February 5, 2009 | Reply


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