Raise your hand if you saw this coming, because I sure didn’t.
Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain on Thursday called for the firing of Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Christopher Cox. McCain said Cox “serves at the appointment of the President and, in my view, has betrayed the public’s trust. If I were President today, I would fire him.
Some bloggers were touting Chris Cox to be McCain’s running mate.
I have a quibble, and it’s similar to my objection to the “George Tenet should have been fired on September 12, 2001!” argument. Even if you can legitimately lay the blame at the feet of the official in question (easier for Cox than Tenet, I would argue) you’re effectively promoting that person’s lieutenant. This presumes the President doesn’t have some perfect SEC Chairman/crisis manager in mind, and even then you’ve got to get that person through the confirmation process with showboating, table-pounding, preening Senators. You also are ensuring that everyone in the organization in question is focused on covering their butts instead of fixing the problem at hand.
On September 12, I wanted CIA employees focused on tracking down al-Qaeda, and devoting exactly 0 percent of their time to worrying about whether they would be fired or purged.
Maybe Chris Cox ought to go. I’m not sure this is the week to do it.