- The Washington Times - Friday, July 23, 2010

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

I find the latest Obama follies both funny and disturbing. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack is the latest one to make the Obama administration look like a bunch of buffoons (“Fired fed gets apology from White House,” Page 1, Thursday).

Imagine a place of employment where your boss can look at a website and simply call you on the phone while you’re driving and insist that you pull over your car and resign. That is what happened to recently fired Agriculture Department employee Shirley Sherrod. The guys in the Securities and Exchange Commission who spent all day watching pornography got treated better than that. If that isn’t naked, arrogant abuse of power, I don’t know what is.

Mr. Vilsack has a responsibility to all of us to run his department according to the rules that govern our federal bureaucracy. However, he also is Mrs. Sherrod’s boss. As such, he owed it to her to follow standard procedures rather than immediately throw her under the bus for a blatantly political reason.

Of course, given her entire speech to the NAACP in Georgia, there can be little doubt that Mrs. Sherrod is not the kind of person we want meting out government largesse. Still, she deserved the opportunity to face her boss.

It is particularly ironic that this happened nearly simultaneously with the revelation that the George W. Bush-era firing of incompetent lawyers was not illegal. Of course it wasn’t. Most of the country knew that already, but we had to have left-leaning bureaucrats drag down a good man like former Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales. That’s what people like Mrs. Sherrod were doing during the Bush years.

Bottom line: Mrs. Sherrod probably doesn’t belong in our government, but she deserved better from her boss.

WILLIAM CARD

Dumfries, Va.

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