The Hurricane Pam Drill
Michael "You're Doing a Heckuva Job" Brown Is Still Employed

Why Oh Why Can't We Have a Better Press Corps? (David Ignatius Edition)

David Ignatius says that "fundamental weaknesses in how this White House makes decisions" were "exposed" last week--that the weaknesses were hidden until then, at least from him.

Who does he think he's kidding?

Why does the Washington Post continue to pay him?

A CEO's Weaknesses: By David Ignatius: There were two levee breaks last week: The natural disaster of Katrina ravaged New Orleans and left behind thousands of victims, but there was also a political catastrophe that breached the Bush administration's containment walls and exposed fundamental weaknesses in how this White House makes decisions. The political damage may be harder to repair than the flooded infrastructure. The management flaws that have been so obvious over the past week go to the heart of how President Bush runs the government....

Early in his first term, it was popular to speak of how this Harvard Business School graduate was operating an "MBA Presidency." He insisted that everyone be on time to meetings; he wanted his aides to be properly dressed; he favored delegation of power, crisp meetings, early bedtimes.... Like Isaiah Berlin's famous hedgehog, he came to focus on one big thing -- the war against terrorism -- and let many lesser things slide. Loyalty counted for more for this CEO than performance -- an attitude that is deadly in managing any enterprise.

The most pointed criticism of Bush's management I've read over the past week comes from the conservative columnist William Kristol. "Almost every Republican I have spoken with is disappointed" by the administration's response to Katrina, Kristol told The Post's Jim VandeHei. "He is a strong president . . . but he has never really focused on the importance of good execution. I think that is true in many parts of his presidency."...

Even on the issues Bush has identified as his priorities, there has been a surprising reactive quality. Take the war on terrorism: The two bureaucracies that are crucial for protecting Americans -- the Department of Homeland Security and the intelligence community -- have been in obvious disarray over the past two years. Yet Bush has not seized the initiative in either case and has let others set the agenda for reorganization. The disorientation today at those two mission-critical bureaucracies is genuinely dangerous for the country.

Iraq, too, has been a policy disconnect.... There hasn't been one Iraq policy but several competing versions...

What this White House needs most is the tonic of honest accountability...

But isn't that exactly what it is not going to get?

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