Saturday, November 22, 2008

qualifications for federal jobs, republican style

Today's theme is what the Republican Party sees as qualifications for different kinds of federal jobs. We'll start at the Cabinet level. If the leaks (which I suspect are intentional) are accurate, Tim Geithner, president of the New York Federal Reserve, will be nominated to be Barack Obama's Secretary of the Treasury.

Geithner, just 47, brings finance experience to the job. Heading up the New York Fed is hard-core economics and finance, skills that will be useful at Treasury as we try to survive the Great Financial Melt-Down. For example, Geithner joined Treasury in 1988 and while there, worked on the Asian financial crisis in the late 1990s.

But, sayeth the Post, "others" wonder whether Geithner can inspire confidence. The only "other" quoted was former Reagan chief of staff Ken Duberstein, who said "Tim at 47 looks 32, and you need to have in these compelling times gray hair and gravitas."

Wow we're boned. Is it to late to change my vote? I mean, John McCain has WAY more gray hair than Barack Obama, and probably gravitas too, whatever that is.

Seriously, gray hair is more important than actual knowledge for the job? Maybe we can do a Ronald Reagan-in-reverse on Geithner, and put some Bizarro World Grecian Formula on his hair to gray him up a bit, and send him to the plastic surgeons for an anti-Botox treatment, or a wrinkle transplant or something.

Meanwhile, Republican political appointees, probably as much out of fear of trying to find a job in this shitty economic climate (even shittier for a former Bush staffer I'd guess), are continuing to burrow in, claiming permanent civil service jobs regardless of the thinness of their resumes. Today the Post highlights a few instances where these types are getting what look like to be serious scientific type jobs.

Not to pick on anybody in particular, but one example is a guy called Todd Harding who is a political appointee at Energy. Harding, who at age 30 presumably has less gray hair or gravitas than Tim Geithner so it's a good thing he's not going to Treasury, is going to work on space-based science including meteorology at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Harding's academic qualifications? A bachelors degree in government from Centre College, which despite the spelling is in Kentucky not Canada.

Wouldn't a degree in something like physics or weather forecasting be better? Nah. Qualifications are for DEMOCRATS. Harding's KEY qualification was earned at Centre, where he was the head of the College Republicans. In the de facto Bush Administration, that's enough. And compared to the home-schooled theocons who graduated from Regent University law school and ended up at the Department of Justice, Harding looks positively OVERQUALIFIED.

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3:37 AM  

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