So Bush followed up his appointment of a prominent anti-UN pundit to the position of UN Ambassador with the appointment of a divisive individual to be the head of a bank with the word “World” in it. What in the world is going on?
It’s not that “Paul Wolfowitz”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Wolfowitz is such a bizarre choice. He’s potentially qualified, with a background in I-banking and a well-developed sense of the interconnectedness of poverty and violence. He’s not actually the right-wing hawk most people take him to be, it’s just that his interests align with the right-wing hawks at the moment. Wolfowitz passionately believes in the need to spread freedom and democracy around the world (in a later blog entry, remind me to talk about the absurdity of pushing representative democracy over popular democracy and the difference between democracy and liberty).
So, anyway, Wolfowitz is no dummy, and he has some of the chops. The problem, really, is the “World” part of this whole Bank thing. Wolfowitz has pissed off a big chunk of the rest of that “World.” How do you get that man in a small room with a buch of European technocrats for years and years and expect them to get along? How do you expect them to move the World Bank forward when they won’t even talk?
It’s unbelievable that a White House that is “so good at, and understanding of, communicating”:http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=politicsNews&storyID=7925291, would neither know, nor care, the messages they’re sending.
The only thing that can possibly account for this strange stretch of behavior is Bush’s tendency to promote from within a small club. Those who get in this club — Rice, Negroponte, even Cheney — are criticism-proof and persist in their rise to the top. Those out of the club — Powell, O’Neill — leave just as soon as it can be arranged.
And this isn’t ridiculous. Bush got much of what he got in life because he was from inside the small club made up of his father’s friends. This got W through one failed drilling company after another, and helped him to the governorship and the presidency. Why should he not repeat the example shown to him, the example which got him so far in life?
It’s good that Bush’s ‘ol boys’ network includes an African-American woman, a jew, and a Democrat. That’s very inclusive. But a club is a club, and when you prioritize serving the club over message control and over communicating with the rest of the world, that’s a recipe for trouble.