Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Where will this new blood be drawn from?

We've long known that President Obama (How I so love saying that!) will have to clean house. Luring expert help back to our government to replace Bush's uber-partisan political appointees is the great unexamined challenge Obama must face. Under Bush we've seen the size of our Federal government explode. To reign in this monster, we need smart, seasoned bodies and lots of them now.

To be sure the “replacement” pool has been discussed ad nauseam in the world of blogs and big media. But it's been almost exclusively in the context of, and much derided as, the President-elect's "defense" of (read: "excuse for") his "Clinton-retread" cabinet picks. With our society now so polarized (another thing we can thank Bush for) and the best folks all skedaddled, where do you suggest Obama find qualified experienced people, smart guys?

Plugging in the top of the Obama food chain is actually the easy part. It's the middle that keeps me awake at night. 8 years of Bush purges drove our best government officials to often better paying private sector gigs. In their place our Federal government is now riddled with partisan hacks. I call these ideologues AKA Bushies "embeds."

These "embeds" are the cogs on the wheels of our government. It's impossible for Obama to get rid of all of them or even a significant portion of them in the early stages of his administration. Even an almost imperceptible amount of collective foot-dragging on their parts could prove extremely damaging to Obama's efforts.

Perhaps Bush's horrendous stewardship of our country will have unintended benefits. Brilliant minds not previously drawn to public service could heed their country's call. It’s equally feasible our disastrous economy will draw a few geniuses into the relative security of Obama's administration.

In the meantime, we wait and we hope.