15 January 2004

How the blind lead the deaf

The phrase of the week in the Echo Chamber appears to be former Treasury Secretary O'Neill's comment that our nation's president was like “a blind man in a room full of deaf people” at cabinet meetings.

This reminds me of Teresa Nielsen Hayden's comments almost a year ago, which explained for me a lot of things you see happening in the Bush administration:

I do not need to explain why I say things. — That’s the interesting thing about being the President. — Maybe somebody needs to explain to me why they say something, but I don’t feel like I owe anybody an explanation.
It’s one of the tactics you can use if you’re in an executive-level job that’s beyond your abilities, you have to have meetings with underlings who know more than you do, and your only concern is to save face while making sure they’re giving you what you want.
This camouflages the fact that you don’t know which end of the stick is sharp. It also teaches people that they’re only safe if you’re happy.

Having to ask questions is likewise unacceptable ....