Chopping Bloch?

1 comment April 25th, 2007at 10:57pm Posted by Eli

Well, this is an interesting tidbit from Novak about Fearless OSC Crusader Bloch…

The beginning of this investigation marks an unlikely course of events in a long-running saga in which President Bush has been trying to purge Special Counsel Bloch, his own appointee. Just a year ago, Bloch looked like he was the one sinking, about to be removed from office, maligned among prospective employers, and perhaps even prosecuted. But all of the sudden, it is the White House in hot water, and Bloch may be untouchable.

Bloch first ran into trouble shortly after arriving in the administration. His decision to change the department’s website to reflect the statutory language on sexual orientation and discrimination in the federal workforce — replacing what he viewed as the overreaching, pro-homosexual policies of his predecessor — was what caused the burst of rage against him. He was subsequently accused of just about every misdeed possible in his position — including incompetence and discrimination against his own employees. All indications are that the office is run well, however. This controversy is complicated and probably far less significant than all the attention it received would suggest. But because it touched such a hot-button issue, it became a symbolic battle and there was no turning back. Congressional Republicans bowed to Democrats’ wishes — especially those of Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) — in exercising oversight and holding hearings on Bloch, but he performed well under the scrutiny — no one could pin anything on him.

The liberal groups stoking the controversy reportedly did not expect any of their complaints to go anywhere, but they did not count on White House officials’ championing their cause and attempting to purge Bloch — who refused to go quietly. Not only did the White House not come to Bloch’s defense, it initiated a full investigation into his official conduct, demanding an exorbitant amount of money from his agency’s budget in order to do so. Clay Johnson, Bush’s Texas friend, even demanded Bloch’s resignation, and referred the matter to the inspector general for the White House Office for Personnel Management (OPM).

Quite frankly, this smells like a pre-whitewash whitewash to me. The OPM investigation is not being pursued aggressively, and I think Novak is just being a good little Republican tool and trying to establish Bloch’s bona fides as an independent operator. Check out this Mother Jones story that Christy linked to and tell me if this guy sounds like a rebel to you.

(h/t NeoLiberal)

Entry Filed under: Corruption/Cronyism,Politics,Republicans

1 Comment

  • 1. stevenclean  |  May 8th, 2008 at 1:11 pm

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