Doyle McManus, at the LA Times, contends that the federal government is focused on political competition at the expense of competence.
Whatever happened to good old American know-how?
The nation that invented modern management seems to be suffering a crisis of competence.
The Secret Service can’t protect the White House. Public health authorities can’t get their arms around a one-man Ebola outbreak. The army we trained in Iraq collapsed as soon as it was attacked by Islamic extremists, and our own veterans can’t get the care they need at VA hospitals. And, lest we forget, it was only a year ago that the White House rolled out its national health insurance program, only to see its website grind to a halt.
Yes, you can argue that these problems all have different causes.
But it’s hard not to conclude that something basic is amiss in Washington.
“This isn’t a partisan problem,” argues Linda Bilmes, a public policy scholar at Harvard’s Kennedy School who worked in the Clinton administration â€” although she does fault the people at the top. “It hasn’t been a priority under this president to appoint good managers to top positions, but it wasn’t a priority under George W. Bush either.”
Read the whole thing.