Saturday, January 31, 2009

Rove on Work

And so it goes.

Karl Rove has actually had the temerity to suggest that Obama trim staff and work less.

In a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, Rove sharply criticizes the new administration for its apparent lack of objective direction ("his is one of many of Mr. Obama's changes to the management structure of the White House that will likely undermine his stated aims and create a more centralized and possibly incoherent policy process.") and his work ethic ("Mr. Obama's tendency to work late into the night will also pose problems."), saying that Obama should trim staff and put in fewer hours in order to improve productivity and create a more cohesive policy.

Jason Jenkins at Huffington Post has an absolutely delicious dissection of Rove's arguments here.

I'm eternally amused at the departing [mal]administration's criticism of the new team in the White House. After all, we've just survived eight years of something. I still cannot determine whether that something was blithe incompetence or the most canny destruction of the existing governmental institution since King John was first handed the Magna Carta. Eight years of Imperial Roman politicking (you're in charge until someone puts a stiletto between your ribs), Spartan public ethics (it's only wrong if you get caught, and even then you can find a scapegoat), and the kind of hubris that makes Louis XIV (l'etat c'est moi) look positively egalitarian and pluralist. Criticism from such seems far more like praise than condemnation.

And lest we forget, we're hearing this from the mover/shaker behind the president most likely to be on vacation in the entire history of the United States, whose shake-up of the executive branch sent whole departments' worth of skilled public servants to the unemployment line simply for not being True Believers.

There's a lot to be done in Washington these days. Our economy is in shambles, and our reputation abroad is hardly in better shape (which makes foreign policy, trade, economic policy and relations with international business partners just that much more difficult). And those of us in the workplace are tired of being called lazy and greedy by a president who seemingly spent more time clearing brush than doing his job. The Obama team is presenting a good public face at the same time they're actively working to tackle the country's problems. I may reserve judgment on their efforts for the moment, but the fact that they're actually working at their jobs, instead of hiding on some secluded location far from the action, speaks volumes.

1 comment:

  1. Being criticised for your work ethics and political tendencies in the White House by Karl Rove is like being slammed for your cooking by Jeffrey Dahmer.