21 October 2003

The Decembrist: First Draft of History

That's something I suspected. The tightest, most command-and-control administration in the history of democracy is coming apart at every seam, and it does seem like the word is out that there will be no personnel changes until the election. I can see why: ever since President Carter's big cabinet reshuffling in July 1979, changes in the second half of the term have been seen as admissions of failure, or opening the door to new problems that will take time to work out. I haven't done the math, but this administration has probably had less turnover in almost three years than any in recent memory. Other than Karen Hughes, Ari Fleischer (both burnout jobs) and Christie Whitman (who may not have had cabinet status), they're all still there.

One senses that there is also, in this refusal to accept any change, a fearfulness that is not exactly presidential. The refusal to accept a new voice is of a piece with the president's lack of interest in new ideas or alternative viewpoints. Now that the White House has finally devolved into leaks and recriminations, this will be a terrible trap.

I've only just discovered The Decembrist. It's going straight on the blogroll in a couple of minutes.

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