Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Hackocracy

Another day, another story about an administration official who's nothing more than a political hack:
Once the color barrier has been broken, minority contractors seeking government work may need to overcome the Bush barrier.

That's the message U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson seemed to send during an April 28 talk in Dallas.

Jackson, a former president and CEO of the Dallas Housing Authority, was among the featured speakers at a forum sponsored by the Real Estate Executive Council, a national minority real estate consortium.

After discussing the huge strides the agency has made in doing business with minority-owned companies, Jackson closed with a cautionary tale, relaying a conversation he had with a prospective advertising contractor.

"He had made every effort to get a contract with HUD for 10 years," Jackson said of the prospective contractor. "He made a heck of a proposal and was on the (General Services Administration) list, so we selected him. He came to see me and thank me for selecting him. Then he said something ... he said, 'I have a problem with your president.'

"I said, 'What do you mean?' He said, 'I don't like President Bush.' I thought to myself, 'Brother, you have a disconnect -- the president is elected, I was selected. You wouldn't be getting the contract unless I was sitting here. If you have a problem with the president, don't tell the secretary.'

"He didn't get the contract," Jackson continued. "Why should I reward someone who doesn't like the president, so they can use funds to try to campaign against the president? Logic says they don't get the contract. That's the way I believe."
I'll give you a moment to ask if he is, in fact, shitting you.

Caught your breath? Good, let's continue.

I'm certainly not surprised to see another Bush official admit -- hell, brag -- that political loyalty is this administration's first, second, and last priority. Remember what John D'Iulio, the one-time head of the faith-based initiative, said: "There is no precedent in any modern White House for what is going on in this one: a complete lack of a policy apparatus. What you’ve got is everything—-and I mean everything—-being run by the political arm. It’s the reign of the Mayberry Machiavellis." Whether it's Porter Goss purging the CIA of Democrats or the Department of Agriculture being told to promote the war in Iraq, this administration is nothing if not political.

What I find so interesting about this latest revelation of the Bush hackocracy is that it finally answers a question I've been asking for the last year: With Hurricane Katrina destroying the city of New Orleans and sending its residents scattered to the four corners of the country, why haven't we heard anything -- and I mean, anything -- from the administration's HUD Secretary? For some crazy reason, I thought HUD would be right in the thick of the effort to provide housing and urban development in the aftermath of the hurricane, what with the words "housing and urban development" in its very name. But, no, HUD hasn't been seen.

Well, now we know why. Instead of doing his job, the HUD Secretary has been focused on maintaining the structural integrity of the White House, shoring up its levees against those dirty Demmycrats and providing shelter from the storm of public opinion for a battered and abused president.

Unfuckingbelievable.

I'm with Atrios. This guy needs to resign, and now.

18 comments:

S.W. Anderson said...

Excellent post, O.M. That's an incredible story.

I think if that bald public admission had been made during the Johnson, Nixon or Ford administration, there would have been a firestorm of bad PR. The guy would at least been on the carpet. More likely, he would've soon been on his way out.

It all seemed to change, with good ol' Ronald Reagan. He had a corrupt pol heading HUD and couldn't bring himself to can the guy, even for quite awhile after "60 Minutes" detailed "Silent Sam's" incompetence and corruption.

(I'm going to do a brief post at Oh!pinion pointing to "Hackocracy.")

Thrillhous said...

I think if you check the constitution, you'll see that the government only has to help those who voted for the winner of the most recent election. I think it's somewhere in the 4th amendment.

InanimateCarbonRod said...

I believe you mean kakistocracy.

teh l4m3 said...

So wait... Now that over 60% of voters in this country disapprove of Bush's performance (in other words, they don't like him), does that mean that the government under Bush can simply stop serving in any way roughly 2/3rds of the country?

Oh, wait...

Otto Man said...

does that mean that the government under Bush can simply stop serving in any way roughly 2/3rds of the country?

Oh, wait...


Yeah, I think this does explain a lot of their theory of governance. The superrich get tax cuts, the CEOs get business deregulation, and the fundamentalist right gets gay bashing all day long. The rest of us? We'll get nothing and like it.

"Kakistocracy" is a new one for me, Thrillhous. But apparently not a new one for this crowd.

Otto Man said...

As Think Progress notes, Jackson pretty clearly broke the law here.

He's got to go. Throw another shrimp on the barbie.

TravisG said...

I believe the correct spelling is "Dhimmicrats," Otto. 'Cause they're, like, in league with the Islamofascists and stuff.

Smitty said...

If he resigns, aren't we left with Cheney??

Mr Furious said...

Shit. I didn't even realize at first ('til reading the Think Progress story) that this guy was the Cabinet-level head of the Agency! I thought this was some contract administrator punk.

The corruption and cronyism certainly no longer surprises me, but the fact that they are brazen enough to brag about it always does. and they just keep doing it. Of course, they keep getting away with it, so who can blame them, I suppose...

Mr Furious said...

Ooo. Kakistocracy is a good one. Let's work hard to make that the Word of the Year.

Last year the Merriam-Webster WOY was inexplicably "integrity." I think "kakistocracy" for 2006 would be a nice follow-up.

Mr Furious said...

Alright. I'm taking kakistocracy to the streets...

my place

dKos diary

Mr Furious said...

UPDATE: The official defense of Jackson has been released — he was lying. Yes. That's really what they are serving up as the cover story, "He made it up."

Otto Man said...

I like that he lied, but apparently his assistant knew the story well enough to say it was for a minority media market advertising campaign.

That is one well-established, off-the-cuff anecdote.

InanimateCarbonRod said...

Slate stole stole your title.

Otto Man said...

Those bastards!

Meanwhile, Mr. Furious has been spreading the kakistocracy love, and got the word out on Balloon Juice.

Mr Furious said...

My kakistocracy post made the Daou Report yesterday.

Woo-Hoo!

I-Rod gets al the credit..

Mr Furious said...

Weisberg's slate column was obviously written before this whole Jackson thing even came up...

Otto Man said...

You made the Daou Report? Hello big time.

I guess that makes me the man behind the man behind the man.

I'm trying to think of who that would be in the Bush administration. Karl Rove's future cellmate?