Monday, August 24, 2009

Yes Vacancies

(Tevi Troy just posted this up over at NRO-The Corner and I liked it so much I am re-posting it here. Just an explanation, I copy and paste certain National Review posts rather than link because the NRO website doesn't let you copy the link. Just a FYI.)
I wrote last week about the lag in selecting someone to run Medicare and Medicaid at CMS. Today's New York Times reports that this is an administration-wide problem. The administration has filled only 43 percent of its top policymaking jobs, and, per the article: "No Obama appointee is running the Transportation Security Administration, the Customs and Border Protection agency, the Drug Enforcement Administration or the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Mr. Obama still does not have an intelligence chief at the Department of Homeland Security, nor a top civilian in charge of military readiness at the Pentagon."

It is true that the Senate confirmation process is long and cumbersome, but when you have a 60-40 edge in the Senate, confirmation is not really the issue. The key is to select people and get them nominated. As Woody Allen used to say, 90 percent of life is just showing up.
So basically 57% of the top positions in Obama's administration are empty, including those big, protect-the-citizen positions like Customs and Border protection, DEA, and ATF.

To be honest, given the craptacular selections Obama has made for the positions he has actually filled, I'm not sure if these vacancies are a good thing or a bad thing.

1 comment:

  1. My favorite part is that Gipps, the guy tasked with filling the vacancies quit his job to become Ambassador to South Africa. Heck, if he just moves around enough, he can do all the jobs.

    I'm a little conflicted, though: are these jobs better left vacant? Most of them probably yes, but it appears our national security fly is open, doesn't it? Does al-Qaeda read the NYT? Hmmm.