Broder Shocker: Presidents Reluctant to Fire Appointees
David Broder today comes to a stunning realization: divisive presidents are more than willing to make "bold" and controversial decisions about all sorts of things, but when it comes to firing one of the powerful and ideologically like-minded sycophants they've surrounded themselves with, they suddenly, mysteriously chicken out!
Is there something about tough-guy conservative chief executives that turns them squeamish when it comes to firing people? Reagan, who had no hesitation about building up America's store of arms and telling the communists to "tear down this wall," couldn't bring himself to let Stockman go -- after the young budgeteer had committed an egregious breach of loyalty. Now, Bush is hanging on to Gonzales to the detriment of the Justice Department and the political embarrassment of congressional Republicans.
The idea that "tough-guy" Reagan was bold enough to tell the commies to do various things and continue the arms build-up that had been going strong for 40 years just doesn't square with the pussy Reagan who didn't have the guts to fire a dude. What an intriguing paradox, worthy of rambling reminisce and tenuous comparison to a dissimilar current situation! You ever noticed how Republican Presidents always only appoint other Republicans to their cabinets? What's up with that? Find out in next Sunday's column!