It's Time to Confirm Sebelius

The right is very concerned about swine flu. But are Republicans and their right wing allies concerned enough that they're going to stop working to keep President Obama's staff from being fully staffed -- including the key position of Health and Human Services? Here's First Read:

If you hadn't realized it, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano might have the toughest public relations job in Washington these days. [...] [N]ow it's swine flu. This is the ultimate job in government where you have to have a thick skin, because you only are in the news when the news is bad. (Here's the latest on swine flu: U.S. officials have declared a health emergency as 20 cases of the flu have been confirmed in the United States. In Mexico, there have been more than 1,600 illnesses and 103 deaths.) Indeed, the flu frenzy seems to be falling on Napolitano's shoulders, given -- as Politico writes -- that HHS secretary-designate Kathleen Sebelius hasn't been confirmed yet (due to GOP concerns over abortion) and that we have an acting CDC director. If there was one subject area this administration wished they could have waited a few more weeks before dealing with its first mini-crisis, it was something in the public health arena. [emphasis added]

Republicans may believe that it's worthwhile for them to try to score political points in futile efforts at obstructionism (as I have noted before, Kathleen Sebelius appears to have sufficient support to overcome a Republican filibuster in tomorrow's expected cloture vote), but they need to realize that their posturing comes with real costs. In this case, the federal government is without one of the key players who could help manage the response to the developing threat of swine flu (or other potential health issues, for that matter). Of course Republicans haven't been known to put much stock in placing good governance over politics (see: Michael "Heckuva Job Brownie" Brown), so perhaps I shouldn't be too surprised. That said, there are real costs to the Republicans' tactics, and it is definitely time for Sebelius to be confirmed by the Senate.

Update [2009-4-27 17:11:40 by Todd Beeton]:Ah, yes. Sweet right-wing conspiracy theories. This from Wendy Wright, President of Concerned Women of America:

“Some people think that declaring a state of emergency about the flu was a political thing to push the Sebelius nomination through,” said Wright. She pointed at news stories that ask whether the slow-walking of the Sebelius choice will hurt the response to the flu. “If there’s even a hint that [Department of Homeland Security] is manipulating the health situation to push a political appointee through, well, it almost defies imagination that they’d be willing to that.”

Wright said that she’d heard the speculation “on talk radio,” and wanted to be skeptical, but “there’s too much of a basis in that argument to easily dismiss it.”

I guess it's hard not to indulge in this type of cynicism about the nature of government after 8 years of Bush.

Tags: HHS, Kathleen Sebelius, Obama Cabinet (all tags)

Comments

5 Comments

brownie wasn't that bad
as c'mon, lay off brownie, he tried to warn the bush administration that the levees would break, and the fema he was given was a neutered piece of shit, that was unable to function, he told the bush administration as much before katrina.
brownie, was hosed by circumstance.
by theninjagoddess 2009-04-27 12:37PM | 0 recs
The ass-backwards logic of the Right Wing

Legal Abortion IS the law of the land.

The contradiction would be to have an ideolgue OPPOSED to the current laws in charge of DHHS.

But, the base must be serviced...at all cost, it's the base that these lemmings follow over the cliff.

by WashStateBlue 2009-04-27 12:58PM | 0 recs
Re: It's Time to Confirm Sebelius

I thought it was a perfect opportunity to force the G-NO-P to vote her through.  Gotta use every opportunity to beat down the G-No-P, and while we're at it, use this to point out how they didn't want pandemic funding in the budget.  Over, and over, and over.  Grind that boot in, baby.

by MtnFrost 2009-04-27 02:25PM | 0 recs
Re: It's Time to Confirm Sebelius

I am a loss for words. I forget who has a majority? Who won the last election?

Remind me.

by Charles Lemos 2009-04-27 04:38PM | 0 recs
I think from the upsidedown Bizarro Republican

world, the answer is:

THEY STILL have a majority, Obama fooled America, this a center-right country. No poll or survey can disuade them, they have been fed that mantra for 30+years.

As far as winning the election, I'm sure if you surveyed the t-bagers, they would tell you Obama is a Nigerian Socialist, illegally put in power by the Liberal/Islamic co-conspiracy to take away their bibles and their guns.

And, the media doesn't do a lot to disuade them?

You would think Obama barely squeaked out a win, while I remember, Bush had "political capital" he could spend...

The media almost seems shocked everytime they report how high Obama's approval numbers are?

They literally can't believe the country has shifted out of Reaganism, they are stuck in the beltway wisdom of old men, mostly in their late 50s, who can't accept their time is rapidly passing.

by WashStateBlue 2009-04-27 05:10PM | 0 recs

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