The Worst 43

The Progress Report ranks President Bush's 43 worst political appointees. Dick Cheney (who, while technically not an appointee, presumably made the list because Bush chose Cheney as his running mate) leads the list, followed by Karl Rove, Alberto Gonzales, Donald Rumsfeld and Michael Brown.

I might have placed #18 Condoleeza Rice a bit farther down the list while ranking #20 Monica Goodling a bit higher. What are your thoughts?

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    I would put Condi (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by gyrfalcon on Sat Jan 17, 2009 at 06:09:09 PM EST
    much, much higher, top 5 probably, because the consequences of her stunning incompetence as National Security Adviser were much more grave than, say, those of Monica Goodling.  Condi seems to have been a mediocre SoS, but she was a flat-out disaster as NSAdviser.

    Miss Condi 911 (none / 0) (#3)
    by SOS on Sat Jan 17, 2009 at 06:12:49 PM EST
    Quite a job she did there as National Security Adviser making sure the attacks on New York went unchallenged.

    Guess she didn't want to upset Junior.


    You're forgetting Condi's (none / 0) (#6)
    by scribe on Sat Jan 17, 2009 at 06:36:39 PM EST
    going to Spamalot on Broadway, then dropping some serious coin for new shoes at Ferragamo, all while foreign countries were trying to offer aid to the US during Katrina.  She needs to move up on the list.

    Nobody ever bothers a man (none / 0) (#7)
    by daryl herbert on Sat Jan 17, 2009 at 06:45:42 PM EST
    for buying a new suit.

    They would, if he were doing it (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by scribe on Sat Jan 17, 2009 at 06:51:12 PM EST
    while NOLA drowned and people trying to offer help couldn't get through to him because he was hanging with his tailor.

    Nobody? Ever? (5.00 / 3) (#26)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Sat Jan 17, 2009 at 08:01:26 PM EST
    I seem to recall a good deal of "bother" about Brownie's shopping/fashion related e-mails during Katrina.  

    And rightfully so.


    I would move (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by scribe on Sat Jan 17, 2009 at 06:47:53 PM EST
    #30 Julie MacDonald, #31 DoD General Counsel Haynes and #36 SEC head Christopher Cox up the list.  While Haynes put the torture program into place, I think in the longer run the damage Cox did will be even more egregious (hard to believe it's possible, but it is) than that Haynes did.  And I haven't even mentioned how the SEC managed to look at and find a way between the raindrops for Deadeye's pre-2000 election trading in Halliburton stock to have not been insider trading.

    MacDonald gets the bump up for the sheer over-the-top nature of her misconduct.  Besides trying to bust up the Fish and Wildlife Service, she was sharing reports and getting opinions on the programs she was supervising from someone she was playing role-playing games with on-line.

    Condi deserves to move up - way up - because she was far worse than her place on the list.

    Deadeye - while they mentioned him shooting Harry Whittington in the face (mistaking him for a quail - an episode we covered here contemporaneously and in considerable detail), they leave out the fact that Deadeye was so feared even within the Republican party that Whittington felt compelled to apologize to him, for getting in his way.

    And, then there's Colin Powell - way down in the 30s.  He deserves to be in the top 5, the top 10 at least, because not only did he stand up for this administration and lie, he did not have the simple dignity to resign immediately upon his telling lies to the world having been made evident.  And, he used (wasted) what had been a very good reputation to protect his patron and mentor - Cheney.  His loyalty was not to the Constitution, but to the men shredding it.  He deserves a special place all of his own for that.

    Monica Goodling?  By comparison, a real lightweight.  She might not even deserve to make the list, but for being blond, stupid, and utterly devoted to fulfilling her oath to George W. Bush.

    What about Chertoff? (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by scribe on Sat Jan 17, 2009 at 06:52:20 PM EST
    He doesn't even make the list?

    Nor the dishonorable mention list. (none / 0) (#11)
    by JSN on Sat Jan 17, 2009 at 06:58:47 PM EST
    That's just wrong (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by scribe on Sat Jan 17, 2009 at 07:02:34 PM EST
    if only because of the size of the "no-fly list" and continuing inability to get it straightened out.

    And the endemic graft in his department.


    Colin Powell (5.00 / 3) (#18)
    by KeysDan on Sat Jan 17, 2009 at 07:19:22 PM EST
    should be close to the top.  He lent his prestige and position (at least in some eyes) to the need to invade Iraq.  Many individuals, including many in the media, may not have been persuaded by the flimsy case for war if not for Powell.  

    When I found myself thinking (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by ruffian on Sat Jan 17, 2009 at 07:56:32 PM EST
    there might be people other than the FEMA director that bungled Katrina that deserved a spot as high as fifth on the list I had to quit evaluating it.  In any other administration Brownie would have been #1.  The combination of evil and ineptitude on that list is truly mind boggling.

    It really is remarkable. (none / 0) (#27)
    by weltec2 on Sat Jan 17, 2009 at 08:15:58 PM EST
    If "a man is known by the company he keeps"... then how can Bush -- who has so many deeply evil friends and associates -- claim that he is an adherent of any religion. I imagine just being around Cheney and Rove would make most decent people's skin crawl.

    Brown was such a poster child. (none / 0) (#33)
    by Fabian on Sun Jan 18, 2009 at 04:22:23 AM EST
    Brown and Goodling.

    Elevate ignorant, inexperienced loyalists instead of experienced experts and the results are predictable.

    That means that Bush himself is the perfect symbol of his administration.  Elected for four year terms, unable to be fired short of impeachment and with the twin defenses of Executive Privilege and National Security, Bush was practically guaranteed to make a series of mistakes, from trivial to catastrophic, unless Congress stood ready to challenge everything.


    Major clean up ahead (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by mmc9431 on Sat Jan 17, 2009 at 08:30:48 PM EST
    After looking at the list of agency heads that have totally corrupted Washington, we need to be sure that the Obama appointees work to restore credibility. There's a massive clean up project ahead. I hope they're as dedicated in restoring as Bush was at tearing down!

    Whoa whoa whoa (none / 0) (#2)
    by SOS on Sat Jan 17, 2009 at 06:10:26 PM EST
    we're moving to fast here which is another problem this country needs to deal with.

    In general I would prefer (none / 0) (#4)
    by ThatOneVoter on Sat Jan 17, 2009 at 06:18:26 PM EST
    that campaign advisers not get White House positions. They have the wrong skill sets.
    Rove and Carville, from everything I have read and seen, are complete ignoramuses about policy.
    I think they are typical.

    Totally different jobs. (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by Fabian on Sat Jan 17, 2009 at 06:59:37 PM EST
    If you want to retain someone to spin events and plan for your re-election, great.

    If you want someone to make decisions on policy that affect the entire country, dump the Madison Avenue types and get policy wonks instead.


    Michael Mukasey (none / 0) (#5)
    by weltec2 on Sat Jan 17, 2009 at 06:36:20 PM EST
    has certainly earned a place on that list somewhere. And Monica Goodling at #20? She was a child, barely out of law school in way over her head. I blame Alberto who, I imagine though I don't know for certain, essentially destroyed her career.

    On second thought... (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by Fabian on Sat Jan 17, 2009 at 07:13:26 PM EST
    I'm sure a degree from Regents should open a LOT of doors for her!

    Goodling was picked (none / 0) (#15)
    by Fabian on Sat Jan 17, 2009 at 07:09:47 PM EST
    to be a loyal servant.  She did her job quite well, IMO.  

    She was an (none / 0) (#19)
    by weltec2 on Sat Jan 17, 2009 at 07:21:10 PM EST
    immature zealot in way over her head. Alberto took advantage of that.

    That's exactly why they hired her. (none / 0) (#21)
    by Fabian on Sat Jan 17, 2009 at 07:31:52 PM EST
    Do you think they would have wanted a mature, experienced, cautious person who would have asked questions and kept a lot of CYA documentation?

    Exactly my point. (none / 0) (#23)
    by weltec2 on Sat Jan 17, 2009 at 07:44:12 PM EST
    She was a tool unequipt to deal with someone like Alberto who has no shame and is not above using and manipulating a child to do is dirty work.

    she was an adult, (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by cpinva on Sun Jan 18, 2009 at 12:23:03 AM EST
    and law school graduate. in fact, a christian law school graduate. she, of all people, should know the difference between right and wrong, moral and immoral, ethical and not.

    it's my hope she spends her career washing dishes in a half-way house, as lifetime penance for her knowing wrongs.

    mukasey should be on that list. anyone who can, with a straight face, conflate the "good men and women of the intelligence agencies" with torture, deserves a special circle in hell.


    She was born in 1973, (none / 0) (#31)
    by weltec2 on Sun Jan 18, 2009 at 01:45:10 AM EST
    completed her JD in 99, and by 2006 already held executive office authority over hiring under Gonzales. Okay, legally she was an adult. But she graduated from Messiah College then after spending a brief period at American University she went to Regent where she completed her JD and then right from there she went to the RNC which tells me that she has lived in a very cult-like bubble... a right wing political bubble all of her life... never really having an opportunity fully to be tested or to grow into a normal adult. I watched the hearings like everyone else. What I saw was a very frightened very confused child. It is the people like Gonzales who have been around and who know what they are about who are guilty.

    who happily (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by cpinva on Sun Jan 18, 2009 at 06:27:48 AM EST
    What I saw was a very frightened very confused child.

    and enthusiastically followed orders she knew, or darn well should have known, were illegal, immoral, venal and corrupt.

    if you expect sympathy for her, here's a quarter, call someone who cares.


    Sympathy is the wrong word. (none / 0) (#36)
    by weltec2 on Sun Jan 18, 2009 at 08:24:17 AM EST
    Mercy perhaps. I'm not saying that she is guiltless, of course not. All I'm saying is that there are levels of guilt and this whole argument started over whether or not she should be listed at #20 which I think is higher than is realistic. I would hope that she has learned a valuable lesson. I think she was confronted with situations that had never entered her head before and she was not -- though I agree that in a perfect world she should have been -- prepared to handle them. Furthermore, her tesitmony clearly revealed that she understood -- albeit too late -- that she had learned and understood that she had stepped "over the line." I sensed from her testimony that she had finally grasped the gravity of her crimes and that she felt guilty about them. She had begun wringing her hands whereas Alberto remained arrogant and had not. That's why Alberto went to talk to her, remember? What a slimeball he is! She has her whole life ahead of her.

    She is now only 35 years old. Thirty-five, think of that. She has her whole life ahead of her. Do I want to condemn her because she made some terrible mistakes at such a young age? No. It is those who used and impressionable young woman for their own ends that I condemn.


    They need to make a Bush (none / 0) (#17)
    by samtaylor2 on Sat Jan 17, 2009 at 07:17:05 PM EST
    Appointee deck of cards (sorta like the Iraq deck of cards).  I am guessing if you tried you could find 9 more bad appointees.

    A father and son combo (5.00 / 2) (#22)
    by mmc9431 on Sat Jan 17, 2009 at 07:33:47 PM EST
    Michael Powel should get an honorable mention on the list of losers too. His work while head of the FCC helped the Murdock's of the country consolidate their media empires.

    Susan Orr (none / 0) (#20)
    by Fabian on Sat Jan 17, 2009 at 07:24:45 PM EST
    would move up my personal list just because I loathe anyone who would restrict contraception or reproductive health services.  After reading one of her quotes, I definitely think making oral contraception available over the counter is a great idea.

    Anything to keep sanctimonious pr!cks from deciding who can and cannot have access to contraception.

    [this] is just the wikipedia page - sparse yet revealing.

    Is this the quote... (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Sat Jan 17, 2009 at 07:50:56 PM EST
    ...you were refering to?

    It's not about choice. It's not about health care. It's about making everyone collaborators with the culture of death.

    'Cause I don't see how it could be worse than that.


    That's a beauty. (none / 0) (#32)
    by Fabian on Sun Jan 18, 2009 at 04:12:29 AM EST
    Apparently she never had my ob-gyn who noted that the test results of a pregnant woman would indicate serious problems if we saw them in a normal man or woman.  "Fertility" may not be a disease, but pregnancy itself itself is stressful and hazardous.  Why wouldn't women wish to avoid it?

    Moving up in rank. (none / 0) (#29)
    by David Weisman on Sat Jan 17, 2009 at 09:06:52 PM EST
    I think those two people who refuse to leave the justice department when Bush leaves should be bumped way up.  How about the guy who started the false rumor about the cost of Obama's inauguration?


    perhaps, (none / 0) (#35)
    by cpinva on Sun Jan 18, 2009 at 06:31:42 AM EST
    I think those two people who refuse to leave the justice department when Bush leaves should be bumped way up.

    a midnite visit, at their homes, by two very large men, who strongly urge them to rethink their positions, "for the good of the country"?

    subtlety is not something these people grasp easily.

    How many were lawyers? (none / 0) (#37)
    by jsj20002 on Sun Jan 18, 2009 at 09:04:56 AM EST
    How many of these incompetent boobs are still licensed to practice law?  

    Just out of curiosity... (none / 0) (#38)
    by rhoids itch on Sun Jan 18, 2009 at 10:50:39 AM EST
    ...in politics, has there ever been a more infamous list than the worst 43?  Wonder how the new list, beginning 20 Jan 09, will shape up?  Any early predictions on who will rise to their highest level of incompetence?

    Gen. Franks moves up on my list (none / 0) (#39)
    by jeffinalabama on Sun Jan 18, 2009 at 11:09:57 AM EST
    for his slimmed down battleplan that allowed depots to go unguarded...

    how many did democrats block? (none / 0) (#40)
    by blogname on Mon Jan 19, 2009 at 10:24:33 AM EST