Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Authoritarian Bureaucracy

Republicans are weird, delusional people.  I just saw at Carpetbagger that the Bushies want to hire a “war czar” to oversee the “wars” in Iraq and Afghanistan.  As if adding one more layer of Whitehouse bureaucracy is somehow going to save the day.  

As he quotes from Kevin Drum:
We already have Secretaries of State and Defense, we already have a military chain of command, and we already have an NSC that's supposed to coordinate all this stuff. Does anyone truly think that a shiny new White House staffer with no budgetary authority, no bureaucratic support, and little in the way of institutional levers of control is going to be able to magically get everyone on the same page sometime in the next few months?

Exactly.  These people are nitwits and this is a nitwit idea.  They have no idea how government works or how to get it to work, but rather have some magical idea that wanting something is enough to make it happen; if only that fucking bureaucracy would get out of the way.  And because they haven’t been able to wish Iraq into successfulness, that means they’ve just got the wrong people on the job and they need to hire a better superior to tell everyone what to do.

Because they know how this war could easily be won, so it must be the underlings who are to blame.  And they know they can’t get rid of all the underlings, so they’re hoping they can just install someone else on top of it and everything will work out.  So they’re wanting some centralized authority figure whose sole boss is Bush.  Some dude who can just step right in and cut-out the redtape and bureaucracy that’s clearly preventing their wishes from becoming reality.

Just like with the Department of Homeland Security, which didn’t need proper funding or organization, and could just be placed on top of the existing bureaucracies and everything would work itself out.  And surprise, surprise.  It didn’t.  They just added an extra layer of bureaucracy with nothing to show for it.  Or when it turned out that they had set-up two chains of command in Iraq, both of which reported to Rumsfeld; and that neither Bush nor then-NSA Advisor Rice knew anything about it.  And at the time, it was Rice’s job to settle such disputes, not Rumsfeld; and Rummy wasn’t returning Rice’s phone calls.  Great work, guys.

And it all comes down to the fact that these people are straight-up authoritarians who refuse to acknowledge that people under them have power, and can use that power for their own benefit.  So they try as much as possible to limit that power to as few people as possible.  But it never works because it really is better to allow a multitude of people to handle complex jobs than to futilely have a handful of people run everything from above.  And in the end, rather than consolidating power, they just end up making a bigger mess trying to fight with the people who are required to do the job.

And we all know this.  This is one of the big reasons why the Soviets failed and why democracy prospers.  Because it really is best to let people do their job and for higher-ups to listen to them, rather than having people far removed from the actual work telling their inferiors how things should be done.  And for as much as Bushies love to insist that we should listen to the soldiers on the ground rather than Congressmen at home, you’d think they’d get that.

But no, they want some Whitehouse dude to be managing two wars that were already giving too much trouble to the military experts in the respective countries.  And the main rule is: If you think all your employees are incompetent boobs who can’t get anything done, then you’re probably right; but only because they’re learning it from the boss.  And in our case, it doesn’t help that the bosses in question are so delusional that every task looks as simple as wishing it were true.


J. Mumphrey Bibblesnæð said...

These people would have been GREAT soviets. They would have fit right in among Stalin and his bunch of asskissers, freaks and sadists. I guess they call them "busheviks" for a reason.

Anonymous said...

I think you're giving them more credit than they deserver. Bush has always had someone to bail him out, and he wants another one. Well, if you're "The Decider", then you're "The Decider". Wow, what a loser this guy is.