Liberals considered the appointment of Michael D. Brown to be essentially an impeachable offense on the part of President George W. Bush. Brown, as you will recall, was Homeland Security Undersecretary of Emergency Preparedness and Response, and as such he served as director of FEMA. His feckless and aloof behavior during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, underscored by President Bush’s unfortunate compliment of “Brownie, you’re doing a heck of a job,” was absolutely one of the low points of Bush’s second term.
After Brown was run out of FEMA, inquiries into his past turned up zero previous emergency management response experience and a lackluster record of achievement, including numerous terminations. It seemed that everything Brown touched turned to … well, not gold.
Brown’s Wikipedia entry includes this interesting factoid:
Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards proposed what he called “Brownie’s Law” requiring that “qualified people, not political hacks”, lead key federal agencies.
Enter Leon Panetta, President-Elect Obama’s choice to lead the Central Intelligence Agency. Panetta is recognized as an intelligent and capable manager, but you’d have to be pretty creative in order to claim that Panetta has any real experience in the intelligence community.
Republican cronyism was touted by Democrats as a primary reason why the Bush administration was so awful. They promised “change,” and applicants who would be thoroughly vetted and qualified to hold important government positions.
Considering the Blago/Burris fiasco, the embarrassing withdrawal of a potentially-tainted Bill Richardson, and now the Panetta nomination, the Obama Administration so far seems to have gone wobbly on that promise.