Ignoramitocracy

MARCH 22, 2011, 9:15 AM

Ignoramitocracy

Harold Pollack points out that everything I said about Elizabeth Warren applies, with even more force, to Donald Berwick, a highly qualified technocrat who can’t even get a confirmation hearing on his nomination to run Medicare and Medicaid. And then there is, of course, Peter Diamond, an economist’s economist with a sterling reputation, who is being blocked at the Fed.

Part of what’s going on here is simply opposition for the sake of opposition. But as Pollack says, the underlying problem is that anyone with actual expertise and any kind of public profile — in short, anyone who is actually qualified to hold a position — is bound to have said something, somewhere that can be taken out of context to make him or her sound like Pol Pot. Berwick has spoken in favor of evaluating medical effectiveness and has had kind words for the British National Health Service, so he wants to kill grandma and Sovietize America.

So what lies down this road? A world in which key positions can only be filled by complete hacks, preferably interns from the Heritage Foundation with no relevant experience but unquestioned loyalty.

In short, we’re on our way to running America the way the Coalition Provisional Authority ran Iraq.

 

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