Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Why Not Trust Bureaucrats?

Via a twitter mention, I got to this Weekly Standard article reporting on a discussion with the OMB/CPSB director, Mulvaney.  It's interesting, but as sometimes happens I have my own take on part of it.

Mulvaney was challenged about the differences in his actions as OMB director and his outspoken policy preferences in his previous job as a member of the House, like no reform of Social Security and running big deficits.  His response basically is, he's not changed his mind, but as a member of Trump's administrator in his day job he follows directions from his boss.

That's fine.  The sense the article gives is that Mulvaney was open and direct, making a contrast with some other politicians.  So good for Mulvaney.

But what's sauce for the goose should also be sauce for the gander.  If Republicans want me to respect Mulvaney's stance, they should offer the same respect to bureaucrats in the administration.  If Mulvaney can salute and say "yes, sir", so can career bureaucrats.  Give them competent leadership and you can trust them as much or more than you can trust the political appointees of the administration.

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