Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Is Condi an Absentee Landlord?

Current (?) and former (?) secretaries of state, April 7, 2007

OK, so I was just reading the latest Federal Diary by Joe Davidson buried within the Washington Post's business section. It's all about trouble at the State Department, so I was of course thinking, "Ooh, Condi dirt." But now I'm more confused than ever! I think I totally need to call upon distinguished Pony Pal™ John Brown to explain this one (pretty please?).

So! The article is all about how nobody wants to work at the State Department anymore, personel levels are so low that tumbleweeds are bouncing down the halls, points are made about diplomacy being coopted by the DOD, and about how State doesn't train anybody to do anything so nothing is happening, etc., etc. People gripe and moan and wring their smooth, manicured hands. Tiny (yet perfectly formed) Robert Gates is interviewed and quoted at length. "What can I do," he moans, "when it's not technically my department?" OMG, it's really boring.

But there's one word which, it seems to me, is bafflingly absent from the article: Condoleezza.

So, Dr. Brown, can you please explain any of this to me? The article appears to be hinting at a colossal lack of leadership, right? But the complete lack of any mention of Condi appears to suggest that she's, like, totally checked out, and isn't even relevant to the issue. Am I putting this together the wrong way?

Also, the article fails to ask a pretty important question: why can't they get anybody to work for them? Actually, let's rephrase the question: why would anybody want to work for the DOS after the mess that Condi 'n' Bush have made of American diplomacy?

Thoughts from current DOS staffers are, of course, welcome and usually bragged about later.

One thing's for sure, Bill Richardson is going to have to clear a lot of cobwebs out of his new office come January.

UPDATE: John Brown, who totally knows a thing or two about diplomacy, and quit the State Department because of the Iraq war (you might want to marvel at his letter of resignation), graciously responds in the comments! OMG!


Distributorcap said...

can you imagine the garage sale of shoes come january

and i will send the dr scholls foot powder

section9 said...

This won't be grist for the partisan mill around here, but State has always been a redheaded stepchild at budget markup time. Condi got one 15% increase when she first got in from Bush back in '05, but then the thieves got back at her.

The point is rather simple: you can't persuade a Congressman or Senator that there's an earmark involved in his district for an Advanced Diplomatic Studies Academy for several thousand bright young diplomats. Where's the pork in that?

The truth be told, they'll bring the Bridge to Nowhere back before they'll vote for more diplomats. Oh, don't worry, someone like Richardson will get some early, high profile budget increases, but then the Big Departments in a Democratic Administration: HHS, Education, Energy, and Commerce will come back and ream poor Bill's bunghole. In two years, it will be same old same old, and he'll have the same problems Condi has.

Only you won't be complaining about them because Richardson's a Democrat. You'd be surprised how little changes between Administrations when there's a party turnover.

Nice to see Gates helping Condi out, though. Best SecDef we've had since Melvin Laird.

Princess Sparkle Pony said...

What makes you think I won't complain about Richardson because he's a Democrat? Have you seen his terrible, terrible hair, awful suits and sporadic beard issues? He's almost as bad as Condi!

FranIAm said...




omg - you never fail to amuse.

Anonymous said...

"Tiny (yet perfectly formed) Robert Gates is interviewed and quoted at length"

You know, Princess... I was at DOD over the summer as an intern and I have to protest at this description of the secdef.

He is miniscule, yet perfectly formed.

Other than that, um, I have nothing to add than that which you already know- you're hysterical!

John Brown said...

From John Brown

Re "I think I totally need to call upon ... Pony Pal™ John Brown to explain this one..."

What can I say to such kind words -- to someone who, like you, has helped keep our sanity for the past sad years.

Your blog reminds me of the Dada movement at its best ... it too reacted to a stupid and senseless global war (WWI) with wit & wisdom (and with some desperation).

As for Condi, in my modest opinion, she is a reflection of intellectual bankruptcy: La trahison des clercs. Her academic pretentions are risible, given the quality of her "scholarly" works (and I have suffered through them). She is an expression of the worst type of parochialism (in her case, while masquerading as a "Russian expert") that has characterized Bush & Co.

Sorry I sound so "serious," but no way I can match your sense of humor and of the absurd, so I better not try.

Princess Sparkle Pony said...

No need to apologize for being serious! I mean, that's why you had to leave the DOS, right?

sfmike said...

I stand in awe before both the Princess and the John Brown, in the latter's case because he has actually waded through Condi's "scholarly" work and finds her academic pretensions "risible." Thank you, you've confirmed all our worst suspicions.

And of course, thank you, Princess for all the hard work while making it look lighter than air.

sfmike said...

And the Letter of Resignation is genuinely Marvelous.

z7q2 said...

Posting in epic thread!

I think you should take a job at State, PSP, as official ReadyMade spokespony. It would be one way to get some face time with Ursula.

dguzman said...

Oooh, Z7q2's suggestion of "face time with Ursula" for you as spokespony made me all tingly!

Thanks to John Brown for confirming our worst suspicions about this gang of thugs we have running the government.

Karen Zipdrive said...

OMG Condi's smile just caused me a brief moment of heterosexuality.
Yikes! Tone it down, frau Blucher.