Saturday, September 10, 2005

What Does a Guy Have to Do to Get Fired Around Here?

What Does a Guy Have to Do to Get Fired Around Here?

Dear Huffington Post Answer Man: I can't believe I'm actually writing to you but I find myself in quite a pickle. I’ve recently been offered a job with the Bush administration and while I’m leaning toward taking it – it’s nothing important really, just a commissioner position with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

In any case, my concern isn’t whether I’m up to the task – I feel pretty certain that my years as a Republican fundraiser and advance man for the Bush 2004 campaign have more than adequately prepared me for the task at hand, whatever it turns out a commissioner is responsible for doing. But what I am nervous about is how difficult it may be to leave the job if at some point I discover that I'm unhappy in the position or I receive a great seven-figure offer to become a pharmaceutical industry lobbyist or the American Enterprise Institute comes a knockin’.

In years past, if I ever found myself in a position to want to leave a job, I would just do something to get myself fired. This, of course, served the dual purpose of giving me my freedom while at the same time securing me a nifty severance package along with extended unemployment insurance. But my question to you is this: What exactly does a guy have to do to get the Bush administration to fire you?

I ask because clearly former CIA chief George Tenet wanted out – I mean, why else would he have told President Bush that the war in Iraq would be a “slam dunk”? Two years, two thousand dead American soldiers and two hundred billion dollars later, our troops are still there with the mission unaccomplished and no real hope of getting out any time soon. And how does the President respond to this fiasco? What punishment does the most powerful man in the world deem appropriate? He hangs the Medal of Freedom around Tenet’s neck, just as he did with Paul Bremer, the former top administrator of Iraq who had the bright idea to bust up the Iraqi army and send a bunch of angry and armed young men onto the streets with nothing else to do but cause mayhem and destruction.

Then there’s Dick Cheney. The guy obviously must have decided that his ticker couldn’t take the stress of the Vice Presidency one day more, which is why he decided to drop the f-bomb on a United States Senator on the Senate floor (“Go f*** yourself”). And what does Bush do? He asks the former CEO of Halliburton to be his second in command for a second consecutive term. Same deal with this Michael Brown guy. The man gets booted out of the International Arabian Horse Association, then gets himself appointed head of FEMA, where he clearly starts wondering "What the hell am I doing here?”, at which point he proceeds to bungle the response to Hurricane Katrina so badly that he drives even Republican Senator Trent Lott to say the guy “has been acting like a private, not a general.” And what’s President Bush’s response? He defends Brown (“What didn’t go right?”), gives him a nickname and a pat on the back (“Brownie, you’re doin’ a heck of a job”) and as of right now, gets himself flown back to Washington where he's asked to sit quietly behind a desk and do nothing but still get paid to do it.

So you can see my dilemma. I want to take on a new challenge but I also want to keep my options open. Mind you, I’m not going into the job anticipating that I’ll want to leave it. It’s just that, in the event that I do want to move on, I’m worried I won’t be able to. Please advise.

Sincerely,

Well Connected But Extremely Confused

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