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Civil Service on Its Way Out

The Washington Post reports that the civil service system is on its way out at the Department of Homeland Security. Civil service was introduced a hundred or so years ago because the old patronage system resulted in so many abuses. But Bush wants patronage. No more independent thinking! If you don’t support the Bush political view, you’re fired, or certainly not promoted.

Bush at first fought the law creating the Homeland Security Department because it included civil service protections for its employees. Now it’s clear why he opposed it so strongly. It was his chance to get political patronage re-introduced widely into the federal government. Already there are thousands of “Schedule C,” senior, policy-related jobs that are exempt from the civil service. That’s not enough for Bush. If there were more Democrats in the House and Senate, there might be some chance of resisting his onslaught, but probably not now.

The article says the system at Homeland Security will become the model for all government agencies. One question: Why would one of the worst managed bureaucracies in the government become the model for the other, better functioning bureaucracies?

Presumably, the important thing to Bush is loyalty, not results. Just look at Iraq. Is that a successful war? But to the Bushies, it’s the most successful, wonderful war ever. Forget the fact that Iraqis are leaving in droves because of the lack of security, electricity, water, gasoline, etc. It took George Bush to make Saddam Hussein look like a good government leader.

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