Is Ex-FEMA Boss Brown’s Hiring Bush’s Fault or Democrats’?

September 15th, 2005 12:40 AM

In the week leading up to former FEMA director Mike Brown’s exodus, the media spent a lot of time castigating the president for hiring someone with such poor qualifications. Yet, a video report (to follow) from CNN of all places states that the Democrats had a large hand in this appointment.

Of course, that hasn’t been the media’s position up to this point. Here is an article from this week’s edition of The New Republic:

“By now, the basic contours of Mike Brown's ascendancy to director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (fema) have come to light. Journalists have uncovered that Brown had almost no relevant experience for the position and got hired by fema because he was a longtime friend of George W. Bush's close associate Joe Allbaugh. The story being reported, in other words, is that Brown was a lawyer who ended up with a crucial post in the Bush administration because of rank cronyism.”

“Yet, far from being a caricature, this description, if anything, understates the absurdity of the situation. The real story of Brown's meteoric rise from obscurity is far more disturbing, as well as a good deal more farcical. It's clear that hiring Brown to run fema was an act of gross recklessness, given his utter lack of qualifications for the job. What's less clear is the answer to the question of exactly what, given Brown's real biography, he is qualified to do.”

But today, CNN’s Ed Henry offered quite a different view. As he stated, since Democrats controlled the Senate in 2002 when Brown was confirmed, they were in control of the committee that oversaw his hearing, and could have easily blocked his appointment if they felt he wasn’t qualified. Yet, as you’ll see in this video, Democrats paid very little attention to this hearing, with many of them not even in attendance.

As a result, the linked video below is must-see TV. Pay particular attention to a statement made by Joe Lieberman with interesting implications concerning the filibustering of judicial appointees: “The president has earned the right to make the choice of who he wants to serve. And Congress has to decide not whether I would have chosen the person, but whether the person is acceptable for the job. And at that point, he sure looked like it.”

Sound a little like what Republicans say about the president’s judicial nominees? Of course, the most important question is whether anybody else is going to report this story.

Video Link