As part of his ever increasing campaign to see just how much he can get away with before impeachment proceedings begin (see photo), President Bush pushed through a raft of recess appointments this week. You might think that he'd learned something from the disaster of appointing unqualified cronies like Michael Brown, but as the president likes to remind us -- learning is for pussies.
One of the names that leapt out at me was Julie Myers. Installed as the new head the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, Myers is now a high-ranking official in the Department of Homeland Security and the main person in charge of making sure our borders are secure.
And -- this won't surprise anyone -- Myers is wholly unqualified. She has no background in the fields she's now responsible for, and no real experience in her new office. She's flitted around the Bush administration from job to job these past few years, but usually in low-level spots. She's going to be responsible for 20,000 employees and an operating budget of $4 billion, and yet her previous managerial experience was just a year-long stint as assistant secretary for export enforcement at the Department of Commerce, where she supervised 170 employees and a budget about 160 times smaller.
No experience, no background, no relevant skills. So why would the president put a woman like this in charge of a vitally important area like immigration and customs? Good ol' nepotism. Her uncle is former JCS Chief Richard Myers and her husband is Michael Chertoff's Chief of Staff at the Department of Homeland Security.
While the Myers pick is disturbing -- why does that phrase sound familiar? -- what's really disturbing here is that Bush has in his first five years managed to make about as many recess appointments as Clinton did in his entire eight years, which is mind-boggling when you consider that Clinton was up against a stonewalling Republican Congress for most of that time, while Bush has had his own party running both houses of Congress for almost his entire term. If he has to sneak these people past his own party members, that says something.
(Photo from the Poor Man, by the way.)