The Washington Times - March 23, 2009, 10:26AM

Surely we all remember not so long ago when the nightmare of Hurricane Katrina slammed the Gulf Coast and the media-obsessed overseer, FEMA Director Michael Brown, became the Bush administration’s short-lived savior. 

“Brownie you’re doin a heck of job.”

That’s what President Bush notoriously declared in the aftermath only to have to eat his words. “Brownie,” couldn’t brown-nose his way into keeping his job and was forced out just weeks later after his incompetence in handling the disaster became apparent, calls for his resignation and criticism from congressional leaders on both sides of the aisle mounted.

Does this scenario seem at all familiar today? Let me offer a hint. President Barack Obama last week on embattled Treasury secretary Timothy Geither, said Geither:

“Is doing an outstanding job.”

He then he went on to call him:

“[an] excellent treasury secretary.”

Obama’s senior economic adviser Christina Romer stayed on message by also declaring on FOX News Sunday:

“He’s [Geithner] actually doing a fantastic job.”

And despite mounting congressional discontent, the president repeated his defense of Geithner on 60 Minutes Sunday with a refusal to accept the Treasury chief’s resignation should he attempt to submit it. The president said he would tell Geithner:

“Sorry buddy, you’ve still go the job.”

Okay, it’s one thing to defend the guy you’re not quite yet ready to rid the public of, but to characterize Geithner’s performance to date as “outstanding” or “excellent?” Where is the excellence? What has been so outstanding? It’s like deja vu all over again. President Obama may have even been able to skate with a simple “good,” but if this bailout banking debacle is considered “outstanding,” I’d hate to see what the administration considers “poor” or even “satisfactory.”

To recycle the words of Steve Kroft (as Obama did with the Bush-Brownie scenario), Mr. President, “are you punch drunk?”

Tara Wall is editor of