It’s getting old, isn’t it? Except for the schadenfreude, of course. Tasty, tasty schadenfreude.
Get your guesser going:
There is a larger point here. It lies in the nature of government work. It is near-impossible to fire anyone in the civil service–and without the fear of firing, the incentives for hard work diminish. (And also the rewards for finding creative solutions.) This is the 130th anniversary of our Civil Service system, enacted by Chester Alan Arthur. It may have been a good thing in 19th century, when Abraham Lincoln was hiring political hacks to run the post offices–but it has transformed agencies like the VA and HHS into lugubrious sludge glaciers in the 21st century.
The President should set the tone for the way the federal government operates. This President hasn’t done that. He still has three more years in office to get it right, perhaps even to propose some radical changes in the work rules governing federal employment. He could even force DOD and VA to agree on the unified electronic records system that he promised.
Otherwise, there is a danger that the Obama Administration will be remembered as not even good enough for government work.
Joe Klein, ladies and gentlemen. Joe Klein calling the Democrat President a “buckpasser.”