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Run an Administration; Not Just a President

If we’d known that President Bush would put a man who proposed a policy for power plants that allows hazardous mercury emissions into a position to set health policy, would we have elected him? Would we have elected him if we’d known that his first head of the education department wrote his dissertation on football plays?
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With all the judicial nominee and filibuster flap going on, we seem to be forgetting what started it all. When we elect a president, we’re voting for two people we know about, but we’re also choosing someone who can then appoint nearly 7,000 people to various executive departments, independent agencies, and judicial and military posts – several thousand of which impact our daily lives. We don’t get to vote for these people. Some are appointed as a reward for loyalty and campaign money raising abilities. Others are appointed because they know the president. A few are appointed because they know the issues, and are smart and capable. But, we still don’t get to choose and it’s time to change that. When someone runs for president, they should run with their Cabinet so we’ll have clearer ideas of what policies will be set in vital areas like education, housing, environment, and Medicaid. After all, if we’d known that President Bush would put a man who proposed a cap-and-trade policy for power plants that continued to allow hazardous mercury emissions into a position to set health policy, would we have elected him? Would we have elected him if we’d known that his first head of the education department wrote his dissertation on football plays? What if we’d known about these people ahead of time? What if we’d known the attitudes and beliefs of those who would set defense and justice policies? If we had known, maybe we would have chosen differently; at the very least we would have had more complete information on what might descend into our lives after the election.

--- Written in conjunction with Jennifer Hicks.

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