April 11, 2009

AP Still carrying Obama's water

According to a story in the AP, despite the slew of problems that President Obama has faced with his appointments - the misfires, the vetting problems, the withdrawals from consideration - he's still doing a better job that either Bush or Clinton.

The rationale is that despite the 'increasingly cumbersome' system, he's going to have the second level appointments done faster than his predecessors. That's the bar for success now? And if it follows the pattern with cabinet appointments will the measure of success change again? Perhaps it can be based on 'most diverse'. Or most names beginning with 'O'. Whatever happened to best person for the job?
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama doesn't have time for a victory lap now that his Cabinet is finally largely in place. One level down, he faces gaping holes in the ranks he needs to fill if there is to be any hope of turning his ambitious agenda into action on health care, the environment and much more.

After a spurt of recent activity that followed a problem-plagued start, Obama is outpacing George W. Bush and Bill Clinton on appointments. But Obama, like his two immediate predecessors, is bogged down in a system that has grown increasingly cumbersome over the years. And he's added tougher-than-ever background checks and ethics rules.

"Obama will be faster than Clinton and Bush when all is said and done, but it's still a slow process," said New York University professor Paul Light, an expert on the federal government. "A turtle is a turtle is a turtle. The Obama administration is a pretty fast turtle, but it's no hare."
The AP even tries to sound impartial by pointing out that despite his speed, he's still slow. The whole premise of the article is biased, how is saying he's a 'fast turtle' even remotely close to journalistic integrity?

The source they are citing, professor Paul Light, is a fellow at the liberal leaning Brookings Institute (the same one that the Huffington Post views as conservative). Who better to 'criticize' the president's transition than someone who leans in the same direction?

The criticism grows more intense at the bottom of the article;

Darrell West, director of governance studies at the Brookings Institution, a think tank, said Obama was setting "Mother Teresa standards in a city with very few saints."

West called the number of appointees in place "dangerously low given the enormity of the challenges we face. Obama is holding his people to such a high standard it is wounding his administration."

Now the criticism is that he's setting standards too high? What a terrible character flaw. Worse, what bunk. Daschle, Geithner, Richardson, Solis...

Let's suppose he's learned his lessons from those names and is finally being more careful. That's a best case scenario. But the word saints doesn't belong in the same paragraph as the likes of some of his top-line appointees, clearly with their own sets of very real problems. Mother Theresa standards apparently only apply to underlings, and not the top brass.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Disagreement is always welcome. Please remain civil. Vulgar or disrespectful comments towards anyone will be removed.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Share This