Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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April 27, 2009

THEIR TIMING COULD BE BETTER.... Jason Linkins notes at least one key government vacancy in the midst of concerns over swine flu, and the political circumstances surrounding the empty chair.

All of this is playing out at a time when HHS nominee sits on the sidelines, her nomination held up at the behest of pro-life organizations who want to paint her as the "Abortion Queen."

The hold-up is pointless -- merely delaying the inevitable for "another week." Maybe the swine flu would be good enough to wait!

Occasionally, obstructionist tactics are about flexing some political muscle. Sometimes, it's just a partisan game.

But once in a while, obstructionism can be a little more disturbing, and interfere with government functions for no good reason at all.

I'm not arguing the U.S. response to the swine-flu problem is necessarily less effective because Kathleen Sebelius' nomination has been delayed; I'm simply not in a position to evaluate the inner working of the bureaucracy. I am arguing that in the midst of "public health emergency," and a global response to a possible pandemic, it'd be awfully nice if Republicans could be grown-ups for a little while, and let the federal government have a Health and Human Services Secretary.

Steve Benen 2:20 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (15)

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Comments

To quote former Sen. Ted Stevens--"NO!"

Posted by: Allan Snyder on April 27, 2009 at 2:18 PM | PERMALINK

Surely you're not surprised by this. This is, after all, the same GOP which chose to shut down the government entirely just to spite Clinton.

-Z

Posted by: Zorro on April 27, 2009 at 2:25 PM | PERMALINK

Republicans don't like volcano monitoring; God sets off a volcano in Alaska.
Republicans don't like this nominee; Here comes the swine influenza.

God's chosen party, eh? :)

Posted by: smlg on April 27, 2009 at 2:31 PM | PERMALINK

Let's hope the GOP doesn't have a problem with asteroid monitoring.

Posted by: Former Dan on April 27, 2009 at 2:33 PM | PERMALINK

it'd be awfully nice if Republicans could be grown-ups for a little while, and let the federal government have a Health and Human Services Secretary.

You obviously think that government is the answer to every problem. I'm looking for the market to provide the solution to the coming global pandemic.

Posted by: Lifelong Dem on April 27, 2009 at 2:40 PM | PERMALINK

it'd be awfully nice if Republicans could be grown-ups for a little while, and let the federal government have a Health and Human Services Secretary

As many have pointed out in the past. Republicans don't believe government works. There principle goal when elected is to prove that point by screwing up as many government functions as possible.

Posted by: thorin-1 on April 27, 2009 at 2:49 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, because Janet Napolitano and the head of the CDC don't have enough on their plate already, they have to do the HHS Sec's job as well.

Posted by: bcinaz on April 27, 2009 at 2:53 PM | PERMALINK

I'm looking for the market to provide the solution to the coming global pandemic.

They'll find a way to profit; most likely by selling face masks + caskets.

-Z

Posted by: Zorro on April 27, 2009 at 3:00 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, and stripping Pandemic preparedness funding out of the Stimulus bill was a really good call too! Really good governing there, Susan.

(This is one of those times when you know your country has dodged a big bullet - at least the outline for pandemic readiness exists. If it were President McCain, well most assuredly all the abortion doctors would be under serveilance and the rate of infection would probably be really horrific.)

Posted by: bcinaz on April 27, 2009 at 3:00 PM | PERMALINK

"Republicans ... be grownups ...." Now, there's counter-factual speculation.

Posted by: Greg Worley on April 27, 2009 at 3:04 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe if a few of Sarah Palin's PAC, SarahPAC die of pig flu they will quit their opposition to Sebelius. They again, maybe not. The bible doesn't mention pig flu or viruses.

Posted by: Larry on April 27, 2009 at 3:10 PM | PERMALINK

I'm not arguing the U.S. response to the swine-flu problem is necessarily less effective because Kathleen Sebelius' nomination has been delayed

Perhaps, but I think we can all agree that we're less effective thanks to the GOP yanking funding from the stimulus bill.

So far the GOP is two fer two -- their opposition to pandemic preparedness and volcano preparedness appears to be fairly predictive. It might be a good idea to look at what other sensible funding they fought against in the stimulus bill....

Posted by: Disputo on April 27, 2009 at 3:45 PM | PERMALINK

I heard on the radio the other day that some reporters asked about the delayed confirmation of Sebelius -- and I gave the White House a lot of credit for refusing to run with the potential softball. After all, Gibbs could have ranted about Republican irresponsibility, about how Republicans were unpatriotic and didn't love America, but instead quietly said that while they regretted the delay on Sebelius, HHS and DHS were hard and work and taking good care of the issue.

Now, there's some political and media maturity!

Posted by: PQuincy on April 27, 2009 at 4:34 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe it's just me but, wouldn't an "Abortion Queen" have very few subjects? Republican are a pandemic.

Posted by: The Galloping Trollop on April 27, 2009 at 4:45 PM | PERMALINK

Late reminder: the dextronauts don't care about collating factors like who really caused or prevented X, it's all about getting whipped up into the Right mood.

Posted by: Neil B ♪ on April 27, 2009 at 5:15 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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