Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Welcome to Bushlandia

Did you hear this?

President Bush has signed a directive that gives the White House much greater control over the rules and policy statements that the government develops to protect public health, safety, the environment, civil rights and privacy.

In an executive order published last week in the Federal Register, Mr. Bush said that each agency must have a regulatory policy office run by a political appointee, to supervise the development of rules and documents providing guidance to regulated industries. The White House will thus have a gatekeeper in each agency to analyze the costs and the benefits of new rules and to make sure the agencies carry out the president's priorities.

The role of the civil service has been to both provide a repository of expertise on how governments are run and to isolate the day-to-day functioning of the government a little from the political fray. George Bush is killing the civil service and replacing expertise with fidelity tests. Reminds me of some totalitarian countries of the past.