CRONYISM….Mike Brown had no emergency management qualifications aside from being a friend of a friend of George Bush, but he was made deputy director and then director of FEMA anyway. That didn’t work out so well.

Karl Rove has, if anything, negative qualifications for the job of overseeing Katrina reconstruction. It’s not just that he’s never done anything like this before, it’s the fact that a reputation as the most ruthless partisan operative of his generation is precisely the qualification you most want to avoid. “Squeaky clean” is what you should be looking for here.

And as Al Kamen reported a few days ago, the “on-again, off-again rumor that White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card is moving to be secretary of the treasury to replace John Snow appears to be on again.” Card, of course, has no relevant experience in finance, taxation or any of Treasury?s other responsibilities. As a conservative reader pointed out in email, “If an international financial crisis should hit on his watch, God help us.”

Has it really gotten to the point where it’s impossible for Bush to find solid, conservative appointees for these positions who have actual experience in the relevant fields? Aren’t there any left who are still willing to work for him? Or does he feel so besieged by life that he literally feels he can’t trust anyone with a big job unless they’ve spent a couple of years working within a few feet of him?

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