Saturday, August 30, 2008

Who to fill all the jobs which will be opening up

When John McCain's campaign confirmed that Sarah Palin was going to be his choice for vice president I felt, for the first time this campaign season, a sense of confidence that the GOP would hold on to the White House for another four years and at the same time a lack of fear that a McCain presidency would spell the end of the Republican party as a home for the conservative movement.

I give McCain credit for realizing that going with his first choice of Joe Lieberman would have been suicidal to his candidacy and for having the courage and good sense to cross the ideological aisle and pick a true conservative as his running mate.

Now that the prospect of a McCain presidency appears likely and doesn't make a true conservative want to retire to the bathtub with a bottle of scotch and a straight razor it is possible to indulge in some of the enjoyable pursuits of those who anticipate having their party control the White House for another four years.

Of course one of the most enjoyable of these activities of which I speak is the old game of matching cabinet posts to people. To that end I have some suggestions:

Secretary of Defense - Joe Lieberman. Lieberman was far too left-liberal to be the vice president but Secretary of Defense is a position which does not touch on domestic policy in any way and the one area where Lieberman leaves the liberal reservation is his staunch support for the war in Iraq, the war against Islamofascist terrorism and his support for the state of Israel.

Lieberman's lack of military service is no obstacle in that SecDef is an administrative position which is concerned with implementing the president's policies. McCain's defense policies will be set by McCain who for all his other faults is an expert on military affairs.

Liebeman has been a fierce ally of the president and Senator McCain on the war and has paid a heavy price for it. He deserves to be rewarded with an important cabinet post and Defense is a place where he could do much good and no harm.

Secretary of Homeland Security - Rudolph Giuliani. Rudy is an ideal pick for Homeland Security. The man who dragged the New York City establishment kicking and screaming toward fiscal responsibility and effective crime control is just the man to bring sanity to the dysfunctional DHS.

And make no mistake DHS is dysfunctional. The department is an amalgamation of various formerly separate agencies which have never reconciled themselves to working together. The problems of internal communication alone (some parts of the Department simply refuse to share any information with other parts of the Department) are virtually paralysing some of the Department's most important functions.

The fact is that a strong leader could solve most of these problems by informing the various heads of the different components within the Department that their continued employment depended upon resolving these issues.

This could have and should have already been done, but the current head of DHS, Michael Chertoff, is a man whose weakness is exceeded only by his incompetence.

Another advantage of making Giuliani the head of DHS is that it would keep him from the Attorney General's job. Giuliani would be hell on wheels fighting terrorists but we don't want a pro-abortion gun grabber as AG.

It is possible, if not likely, that Giuliani intends to run for Governor of New York and will not wish to take on any job in the McCain administration. However the offer should be made.

Attorney General - Fred Thompson. Fred's name has been tossed out as a possible Supreme Court Justice, but the Harriet Meiers debacle has raised the bar on what are considered to be the minimum qualifications for a seat on the Supreme Court and Thompson's lack of experience as a judge would make him a tough sell. That plus his advanced age (we want a conservative with at least 20 years of service ahead of him) make him a poor fit for the Court.

However Thompson has served as an assistant US Attorney where he prosecuted a number of criminal cases and as an attorney in private practice he was instrumental in bringing down the corrupt administration of Tennessee Governor Ray Blanton.

Mr. Thompson would bring seriousness and stature to an important office which has been filled by a genuinely competent man (John Ashcroft) only once in the past 16 years.

Secretary of State - John Bolton. John Robert Bolton is the best ambassador to the United Nations that the US has had since Jeane Kirkpatirck. OK, that's not saying a great deal but still he would be a great Secretary of State. Bolton has one of the keenest grasps of international affairs of any man alive and possesses the courage and determination (and sheer orneriness) to bring massively needed reform to the Department of State (which seems to have a great deal of trouble remembering exactly which state it is supposed to be serving).

Secretary of Education - No specific person in mind, but I do have a list of qualifications. The post should be filled by a woman who is attractive and articulate and who is holding or has held an elective office at the state or federal level. She should not be a professional teacher and not a member of the NEA (the teacher's union). The NEA is the single factor which has destroyed public education in America and is the single factor which most stands in the way of meaningful reform of education in America.

The new Secretary of Education should be someone who has homeschooled her own children and seen them admitted to, and graduate from, elite colleges. This would give her the standing to say that she knows whereof she speaks on the issue of teaching children.

It would also help if she had been a leader in an organization of home schooling parents.

Director of Central Intelligence - Again no specific person but this would be the backup position for either Fred Thompson, Rudy Giuliani or John Bolton. All would do well here.

That's all I have for now. Feel free to add your own suggestions.

Oh, I'll just say one more thing. Sarah Palin needs to be utilized as fully as Dick Cheney has been. The office of Vice President has changed under Cheney from being an almost superfluous ceremonial position to being an active and integral part of the president's management team. That practice needs to be continued, especially with a VP as competent as Palin is going to be.