This past week, the Senate passed a $122 billion Iraq War spending bill. In most years, a multi billion war appropriation would have republicans wetting their pants with joy. However, this bill contains a provision requiring the withdrawal of most U.S. forces by March of 2008. This has our fearless leader incensed. We expect there to be no strings on our on-the-ground personnel he says. The basic gist of the argument is that people in the field have a better understanding of problems and a greater appreciation for how best to solve them. While this logic overlooks the fact that Congress does have Constitutional oversight authority over the executive branch, it does have some validity. People closer to the problems, often know best how to solve them.
However, the no strings requirement doesn't seem to apply to state side civil servants. Nor does the bar on meddling in local decisions pertain to Bush administration politicos. In fact, Bush lackeys not only second guess the professional judgement of "on-the-ground" federal personnel, they appear empowered to overturn decisions that conflict with the Bush admin's questionable world view. Case in point, Julie A. MacDonald, a political hack in the Interior department repeatedly altered the scientific field reports of professional land managers to the detriment of endangered species. Ms. MacDonald made these changes despite the fact that she has no, repeat that NO formal education in natural sciences. In other words, she lacks any qualification to second guess the judgement of wildlife managers. But according to the administration this is totally hunky dory.
In a nutshell, Bushies think Congress' Constitutional oversight of local managers is bad, while meddling by political appointees in the work of stateside local managers is good. Go figure.