I never knew that a President had to appoint people to positions in his Cabinet that would not agree with him. Of course the left thinks that only they know how to run things. I do not remember Billy boy Clinton, Jimmie Carter, LBJ or JFK appointing anyone that was opposed to their policies to Cabinet positions. Hell JFK even went as far as to appoint his brother as AG. Now that the left has lost once again, their idiotic whining continues.
By John Podhoretz
New York Post
November 23, 2004 -- PRESIDENT Bush proved in his first term that he had a talent for provoking fits of madness in the brains of liberals who disagree with him. It appears his second four years will be no different. For a week now, you see, authoritative Washington pundit-types have been making a very serious and deeply reasoned argument about the president's new Cabinet choices for which there is only one possible word:
They claim, in all seriousness, that Bush is exceeding his political, executive and electoral authority by nominating experienced administration officials to serve in his Cabinet. These choices are bad, they say, because — get this — the president is daring to appoint people who are a) loyal to him (horrors!) and b) don't disagree with him enough (meanie).
David Gergen wrote in The New York Times that Bush is "closing down dissent and centralizing power in a few hands."
E.J. Dionne of The Washington Post said on National Public Radio that "the president has made a conscious choice for his second term to . . . have people who broadly agree with his policy" and therefore, "people won't raise the kind of questions that we wish had been raised more forcefully."
Dana Bash of CNN: "It's going to make the president too insulated. Not enough healthy debate will go on."
You know who else chimed in? None other than John Kerry, who thundered that "healthy debate and diverse opinion are being eliminated from the State Department and CIA."
(How proud Dana Bash must be that she and John Kerry have used the exact same words. And how proud her masters at CNN must be, too.)
There's no question that "healthy debate" is an important part of every serious enterprise. But let's not beat around the Bush. When these characters talk about the need for "debate," they mean one thing and one thing only: They fear Bush won't be forced to take account of opinions and judgments they like and will instead fall back on opinions and judgments he likes.
Here's the thing: We Americans elected him because we want him to exercise his judgment. We elected him to serve as the steward of our interests and the representative of our views. What we Americans know, based on his campaign for re-election, is what he stands for, what he believes, what he's done and what he says he'll do.
He was not elected to provide a forum for the healthy debate of Colin Powell's views. If he chooses to listen to Powell, that's his right and privilege. But it is equally his right and privilege — under the provisions of our system, which allows him to fire anybody he chooses from a political appointment to the executive branch of the U.S. government — not to listen to Colin Powell.
Nor must he listen to the views of E.J. Dionne, may the blessed God be thanked. That goes double for the views of David ("I'll work for anybody") Gergen.
And he is almost obliged to ignore the views of John Kerry, despite the fact that Kerry received 57 million votes on Nov. 2, because to do so would be a violation of the compact he made with the 61.06 million people who voted for him.
There is one crucial way, though, in which he must listen to John Kerry. And that is when Kerry expresses his views officially in the U.S. Senate by voting on legislation (when he bothers to do so, that is).
Under the Constitution, Bush is required to listen to the views of other elected officials in the Congress, because those views are expressed in the form of legislation that crosses his desk. He must also listen to the Senate because its members are given the responsibility to "advise and consent" to his Cabinet and judicial nominees.
Did the president benefit from hearing Colin Powell's views during his first term? On some matters, certainly, and on others probably not as much. But it's simply comic to assume that with Powell gone, there will not be healthy debate between incoming Secretary of State Condi Rice and the secretary of Defense (Rummy or whoever follows him).
There has always been and will always be tension between these departments, because they step on each other's toes. The fact that their presiding officers will be more loyal to the president than they will be to Bob Woodward won't mitigate that fact of Washington political life.
The only surprising aspect of this argument is that it completely ditches the old, reliable "Bush is a moron" meme for a new and more ominous "Bush is a control-freak mastermind" theory. The man who, we were told, had no interest in policy and could barely tie his shoes now wants to vet every minute decision made at the departments of State, Justice and Education and at the Central Intelligence Agency.
Hey guys: Pick an argument and stick to it, will you? Otherwise, people will start thinking you're crazy.