Sunday, 7 September 2003

Ok, who didn't see this one coming?

James Joyner links to a WaPo account of just how peachy things are going at the Department of Homeland Security. In short, it’s about as peachy as Antarctica (as opposed to, say, Georgia, which is just crawling with peaches):

Six months after it was established to protect the nation from terrorism, the Department of Homeland Security is hobbled by money woes, disorganization, turf battles and unsteady support from the White House, and has made only halting progress toward its goals, according to administration officials and independent experts.

To its (slight) credit, the administration initially resisted calls for this bureaucratic boondoggle to be implemented, which mainly came from Congress’s “Do Something” Party. Who are they? Every politician (Republican, Democrat, or whatever) who, when confronted with a problem, immediately shouts “Do Something” without stopping to think whether or not that Something is actually a good idea. The Do Somethingers brought us every executive branch reorganization since the New Deal, and I’m pretty sure they’re batting an 0-fer in terms of improved bureaucratic effectiveness. (Not that this excuses the administration’s failure to follow through on the reorganization, however.)

So now the “Do Something” gang has brought us the Transportation Security Agency, the Department of Homeland Security, and the PATRIOT Act, which combined have increased national security by exactly bupkiss. I guess that’s why Congress deserves that 4.1% pay raise…