The Corner

Also Re Bolton

I was on the BBC Monday debating the Bolton nomination with Peter Beinart. Peter is smart and I like him but he said something I just found weird. He said that Bolton should be disqualified because he had been “disloyal to his subordinates.”

Is there something I’ve missed in my reading of Peter Drucker and other management gurus? Since when is the goal to demonstrate loyalty to subordinates? Shouldn’t the goal be for subordinates to show loyalty to those they’re supposed to be working for?

And keep in mind: This is coupled with the constant refrain from the left that Bush should choose cabinet members and other senior deputies who are “independent” – in other words who disagree with him and are disloyal to him.

What’s more, anyone who has spent any time in a government bureaucracy understands that the real problem is not being too tough with subordinates. The real problem is that in government bureaucracies there is too little you can do about subordinates who aren’t doing their jobs adequately. You can’t fire them or even stop them from getting scheduled pay increases. The most you can do is shift them from one part of the building to another.

Clifford D. MayClifford D. May is an American journalist and editor. He is the president of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a conservative policy institute created shortly after the 9/11 attacks, ...


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