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Yes, It WAS A Screw-Up and the Lesson Has Not Yet Been Learned

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As a friend here in the desert said yesterday, you don't claim to be the cleanest guy since ever and then break your own rules. Daschle was dirty, so don't stand pat. Tell the world that you are looking into it, temporize, then when you finally get over yourself and understand the drift from your own party that Daschle is dirty, ask him to withdraw. If he doesn't withdraw, then you withdraw the nomination. It is that simple and you have to have the gut to do it.

But, that's not the problem. The problem is that Obama saw this man as indispensable to pushing the Health Care package through Congress. First, no one is indispensable, and second no one who is as "well-connected" as Tom Daschle has no skeletons in his closets.

But, that's not really the problem either. The problem is that Obama needs someone to manage the Department of Health and Human Services in a time when the risk to our food supply and our risk due to global epidemics has never been higher. In fact as the world supply of food is subject to the decreasing scrutiny of battered economies everywhere, our risks multiply.

It is a period when the reputations of the FDA and the CDC have never been lower. It is a period during which the Secretary must rout out hundreds of high level federal employees whose ties to pharmaceutical companies and other corporations make them incapable of carrying out their jobs. It is a time when USDA and FDA must begin to cooperate. It is a time for a really good manager to fix something that is horribly broken. We need a person in there who is medically oriented and capable of politics. Howard Dean, MD, for instance!

The Legislative Branch of government can, with whatever help they need from the White House, assemble a Health Care Plan that is acceptable to the People. The Executive Branch does not have to "lead" the Legislative Branch. This is the major lesson to be learned. The powers are separate on purpose, and now one from the Legislature is running the Executive. Time he understands the difference!

JB
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James R. Brett, Ph.D. taught Russian History before (and during) long stint as an academic administrator in faculty research administration. His academic interests are the modern period of Russian History since Peter the Great, Chinese History, (more...)
 

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