The April 26, 2007 Washington Post front page article Political Briefings At Agencies Disclosed quotes GSA Administrator Lurita Alexis Doan as asking how GSA projects could be used to help "our candidates." When the briefer, J. Scott Jennings, said that topic should be discussed "off-line," Doan then replied, "Oh, good, at least as long as we are going to follow up."
It doesn’t surprise me that political appointees would be concerned about the political fate of the person upon whom their jobs depend. But the Presidency will go to someone else in 2008, and even a new Republican President will want to make his or her own appointments. So the interest of political appointees in keeping politicians in office who would continue the current administration’s policy direction may be due to their faith in the direction the President and the Republican Leadership in Congress has steered the country, and a desire to stay the course. So I guess the faithful would want to return the right Republicans (i.e., the Christian Right) to power in the next election. With a deep seated religious conviction in the correctness of their leaders’ shared vision (is a vision and a hallucination the same thing?), is it any wonder they are willing to bend the rules (or the law) to help accomplish that?
Throughout the Executive Branch the Bush Administration has repeatedly demonstrated its incompetence in implementing even its own policy, as well as the normal duties of Executive Branch departments and agencies. It seems reasonable to believe that this general incompetence has been due to the quality of President Bush’s political appointments, as well as the resignation of many senior career civil servants who couldn’t abide the political interference. Even the Republican faithful could not tolerate Bush’s nomination of Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court. Based on Ms. Doan’s artless remarks, perhaps she is yet another of apparently many top government positions for which Bush made appointments based on loyalty rather than smarts.