[[C O M M E N D A T I O N S]] * Will George W. Bush ever learn? On September 2 of last year, the prez, arriving in Alabama for a superficial glance at the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina, told Michael D. Brown, then head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), “Brownie, you’re doing a heck of a job.” Only a week later, Brown--under fire for fudging his résumé and failing to mount a fast, sufficient response to the Gulf Coast disaster--was relieved of his responsibility for hurricane recovery. (He resigned his bureaucratic post shortly thereafter, though he continued to draw a government paycheck as a FEMA “consultant.”) Meanwhile, Bush’s “heck of a job” statement went on to be designated as the most memorable--and embarrassing--quote of 2005.
However, Dubya, cozied up in his protective bubble, doesn’t seem aware of the laughter generated by his tendency to dispense praise to the undeserving. Why, it was just yesterday that he said another member of his administration was doing “doing a heck of a job”--this time, Health and Human Services Secretary Michael Leavitt, who has overseen the Republican administration’s fumbled introduction of an expensive new Medicare prescription drug benefit. How long will it be before Leavitt’s head, too, is measured for a place on the chopping block?
READ MORE: “Rx for GOP Doom,” by Joe Conason (Salon).