Matt Yglesias has a good point on low-level political appointees for jobs that don’t need politicians and/or don’t need input from a filibuster-happy Senate.
Here’s a few of the jobs the Senate confirmed:
— Benjamin B. Tucker, of New York, to be Deputy Director for State, Local, and Tribal Affairs, Office of National Drug Control Policy.
— Jim R. Esquea, of New York, to be an Assistant Secretary for Legislation, Department of Health and Human Services.
— David T. Matsuda, of the District of Columbia, to be Administrator of the Maritime Administration.
— Lana Pollack, of Michigan, to be a Commissioner on the part of the United States on the International Joint Commission, United States and Canada.
— James L. Taylor, of Virginia, to be Chief Financial Officer, Department of Labor.
Does the Senate really need input on a deputy director for a small White House office dealing with drug policy? Do they have any official rationale for having input in who Obama picks for his Assistant Secretary for Legislation (basically a government-paid lobbyist to help Exec Branch win support on the Hill)?
It really does get a bit ridiculous that such low-level positions could be held up for months on the threat of a filibuster which never materializes, when no one, not even the Senators themselves, care that much about the nominations except as leverage to make a political point?
I know we have the patronage system from Andrew Jackson’s days, and no one likes to denigrate civil servants more than the conservative movement, but sure we could do with a few less politician-managers and instead a few more professionals in our government?
If the British can hold an entire election and confirm a new Cabinet in the span of six weeks, surely the country that created the permanent campaign could at least get on with the business of governing by not taking so longer to fill the bureaucracy after each election.