Saturday, December 11, 2004

Nanny Problem

When I learned that Bernard Kerik has removed his name (AKA asked to drop out) from the nomination of homeland security director, I was happy. That is, until I learned why: did not pay taxes on his nanny.

How many presidential nominees have been sunk in recent years because they either (1) hired an illegal alien to be their kid's nanny, or (2) failed to pay taxes for them or (3) both? I can think of at least two Clinton nominees and now two Bush nominees. Is it that hard to find good legal help these days? Or is it a symptom of something worse and bigger?

It's the latter. Instead of sinking these nominees on the merits like they should be, political hacks are delving deep into people's private lies to catch them in an error, which just so happens these days to be with nannies. I don't think this is an appropriate way of "advise and consent" the present dear Senate. This is why we end up with the Kerik's in the first place, because truely gifted would-be public servants don't want people combing through their trash and dirty laundry. That, and the pay stinks.

Now some will say that this nanny-gate stuff shows that these nominees have no respect for the law which is really bad when you are appointed to be the attorney general like Zoe Baird was. Or you have no respect for labor laws, which it also bad if you are nominated to be Secretary of Labor, like Linda Chavez was. Or you have no respect for immigration laws, assuming Kerik's nanny was an illegal, when your department oversees the INS like Homeland Security does. Nonetheless, why can't be shoot these people down on the merits?

Kerik did a terrible job in the few months he was in Iraq. And no one explained ever why he left so appruptly. The man's only qualification was his loyalty to Rudy G. This was a patronage job, plain and simple. Rudy called in a favor from George W. Bush. Why can't his resume and past performance be the reason the senate votes him down?

I am just so tired of this gotcha culture in Washington. The "politics of personal destruction" is why we have power hungery men like Tom DeLay who manage to keep their nose clean enough avoid the axe. Congressmen lose power for saying dumb and racist things and yet ones who flaunt the law and commit real crimes (AKA not minor tax evasion) get promoted. There is something wrong with this picture.

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