Monday, January 19, 2009

Maybe the newly unemployed regimistas should just say they were in prison -- isn't that better "work experience" than service in the Bush regime?


Don't worry about our Dana. Apparently she and her better half have enough bucks salted away to be able to afford "to do something that would help others." (No, she does not mean nude press conferences. Who started that rumor anyways?)

"The cream always rises to the top. Those that are the first-rate individuals out of the administration and who have developed good bipartisan relationships and have solid policy experience will be able to make the transition."
-- Nels Olson, of the executive recruiting firm Korn/Ferry International, in Philip Rucker and Dan Eggen's "All That Experience and No Place to Go," in today's Washington Post

by Ken

I say, if you can't trust cliches, what can you trust? (Apparently not Team Obama's ability to plan a simple concert, for one. But I digress.)

That's a good one from our head-hunter friend Nels, the one about cream rising to the top. Personally, though, my thoughts have been going more to the one about rats deserting a sinking ship. After all, if there's one thing we know, it's that rats desert a sinking ship.

And goodness knows, as the second term of the Bush regime turned to crap, we saw armies of the bastards jumping -- or being pushed by bigger, meaner rats -- off the Good Ship Chimpy. Now, however, we (and the left-behind rats) are learning a corollary to the Rat Rule:

A smart rat knows when to jump.

You might say that this is kind of obvious, or should be to any right-raised rat poised for the big jump. But apparently a lot of the left-behind rats aboard the U.S.S. Chimpy didn't get the message. In case you missed the above-cited Rucker-Eggen piece in today's Post, the subhead is "GOP Appointees Scramble for the Few Washington Jobs in a Tough Economy."

I know it's not a good thing to take pleasure in the misfortune of others, and it doesn't matter that the Germans have a whole word for it, Schadenfreude. I mean, the Germans probably have words for lots of stuff that's not apt to get you karmic time off for good behavior against your eternal rap sheet.

So it was with no sense of personal pride that I chortled, giggled, and guffawed my way through the article. Man, life is tough!

Here's the news, in case you missed it:
As President-elect Barack Obama's team transitions into the federal government tomorrow, President Bush's political appointees will be locked out, and in these tough economic times many of them are scrambling to find new jobs. High-ranking White House loyalists have deluged Washington headhunters with pleas for jobs. Corporations and nonprofit organizations have stopped hiring. With the GOP out of power, jobs on Capitol Hill are scant and K Street lobbying firms have trimmed their golden parachutes.

So this is the new reality: Instead of boasting to friends and colleagues of new jobs in goodbye e-mails, many longtime Bush aides have offered home phone numbers and Gmail and Yahoo e-mail addresses as their new contacts.

Tip: Try not to laugh too hard while you're drinking tea. You're apt to see it spraying out of your nose.

Awww! After all the hard work they put into turning the country -- and the world -- into the shithole their masters dreamed for us.
"It's a bear market out there, no question, for Republicans leaving the Hill or the administration," said Tom C. Korologos, a longtime Republican adviser and lobbyist who served as Bush's ambassador to Belgium from 2004 to 2007. "In this political business, you live by the sword and die by the sword. . . . You're a caretaker for a while, and all of a sudden there's nothing to take care of and you're gone."

In the current political climate, ties to an unpopular president could hurt candidates. "I think there are people whose connection to the Bush administration will be a kind of taint if they try to stay in Washington," said Calvin Mackenzie, a professor of government at Colby College.

Rucker and Eggen do offer a sterling example of how to do the Rat Jump wisely. Now, Tom Davis isn't an administration-jumping rat. He's one of those "Republicans leaving the Hill." You'll recall that he got tired pretending to be a "moderate Republican," as if there were such a thing in this century. Everybody assumed it was just a matter of time before he transitioned his way into one of Virginia's U.S. Senate seats. Instead, he read the tea leaves in his increasingly Democratic northern VA district and decided to jump ship without even serving out his last House term:
Tom Davis, a powerful Republican congressman from Virginia, retired last year and landed a seven-figure job at Deloitte Consulting, a global financial services company, as the economy started to tank. But he said many of his GOP colleagues "didn't get out soon enough" and are stuck with few opportunities. The market is so poor, Davis said, that some senior GOP congressional aides "are fighting over taking a pay cut from $130,000 to $140,000 to just $60,000 to $70,000."

Davis often repeats a saying passed down by his grandfather, a former Nebraska attorney general: "There is nothing as desperate as a defeated politician looking for a job."

Interestingly, a major problem the desperate regimista rats are having is that they don't want to go back where they came from. One Ron Kaufman, described as "a close White House adviser to former president George H.W. Bush and an executive at Dutko Worldwide," who "helped many loyalists land appointments at the beginning of the Bush presidency," is now telling the regime refugees: "Go home. Take the expertise you've learned here, go back home and apply it to a trade back home."

But they're not biting. The above-quoted Tom C. Korologos -- you remember, the "longtime Republican adviser and lobbyist who served as Bush's ambassador to Belgium from 2004 to 2007," who understands that "it's a bear market out there, no question, for Republicans leaving the Hill or the administration" -- explains: "We're talking Washington. There's an old saying, you know, they never go back to Pocatello." (I'm guessing it was a helpful WaPo editor who added, "referring to an Idaho railroad town," concerned that readers wouldn't get the Pocatello reference. It's a lucky thing Tom C. didn't say "Podunk" instead of "Pocatello," or they would have had to explain Podunk.)

You'll be relieved to learn that there are regime refugees who can afford to take time off, among them our darling Dana Perino. But she won't be doing nothing:
Dana Perino plans to travel with her husband to volunteer in South Africa at the Living Hope Community Center, a beneficiary of Bush's anti-AIDS initiative.

"I didn't want to sit around the house thinking about what I want to do next," Perino said. "I wanted to do something that would help others."

Perino said many White House employees have been too busy in the final months of the Bush presidency to look for new jobs, but acknowledged the difficulty.

"Certainly it's not the roaring days of the dot-com boom or the 52 months of growth we saw during this administration," Perino said, getting a plug in for her boss's economic record.

I don't know about you, but I'm missing our Dana already. No, not really! (You bought that?) Which is not to say unequivocally that we won't look back at these as the golden years for White House press communications, and I'm not even going to try to work in some kind of rude crack about how if only she had had the courage to pioneer nude press conferences, she'd have the job offers rolling in. No, I'm going to take the high road on this one.

Apparently we're supposed to feel sorry for the ex-regimistas because they have poor job-hunting skills:
[F]or many Bush appointees, this is the first time they've been on the job market for years, if not decades. Many came to Washington during the 1990s to take jobs in the Republican-controlled Congress, only to move into the administration after Bush's 2000 election.

"These are people who haven't put together a résumé in 20 years," said Steve Gunderson, a former Republican congressman who is president of the Council on Foundations. He has been reviewing résumés of those seeking jobs in the nonprofit sector. "It's a first for them in developing résumés, applying for open and competitive jobs, and trying to figure out where their skills might work best."

"Figure out where their skills might work best"? OMG, talk about a straight line of the "big fat hanging curveball" variety. I'm not going to swing, though. That would be the old schadenfreudenvoll me. I'm above that sort of thing now.

Nah, I'm just kidding! I'm not above it. I'm right down in it. As a veteran of many resume wars, having spent countless hours trying to construct one that might get me some kind of decent job, I'm just going to make one suggestion to all those first-time resume-writers: When it comes to your time served in the Bush White House, you might want to fudge and claim to have been out of the workforce, like maybe a stay-at-home mom or dad. Failing all else, say you were in prison.

I'd like to think that will still count as better employment history than time served as part of the Bush regime. Meanwhile, why not give Monica Goodling a call and see if she's free for lunch?


Too late for inclusion in the original post, I found this passed-along link from Howie, in which Slate's Christopher Beam recounts his experience behind enemy lines, crashing Sunday night's final gathering of the loyal regimistas in the Spanish Ballroom of Maryland's Glen Echo Park.

You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll check the locks on your doors and windows to make sure none of these people can sneak in.


As I stood in line for barbecue, Dana Perino came over to greet some friends. "I'm starting to breathe!" she said. I asked her for a comment on the party. "It's a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the outgoing administration and reminisce in casual clothes," she said.

[Hmm, nothing about those rumored nude press conferences? -- Ed.]

And, oh yes, there's a good chance you'll upchuck, hearing almost-former President George W. Bush say:
So we're no longer sprinting to the finish -- we're dancing to the finish. This is objectively the finest group of people ever to serve our country. Not to serve me, not to serve the Republican Party, but the United States of America.

And yes, there really is a
Bush-Cheney Alumni Association, for "employees, appointees, and interns of President George W. Bush … as well as campaign donors and volunteers." Christopher picked up his own application form. You can find about it online. In a sense, a very grim sense, we're all veterans of the Bush regime -- and certainly victims. That ought to count for something.

Wouldn't you think?

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At 6:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perino'd in the Urban Dictionary.

Hit by anything Karmic you didn't see coming.

Dana Perino was perino'd by an invisible microphone during ex-President Bush's attempted Shoe Assassination in Iraq on Dec 14, 2008.

I thought I had gotten away clean running my money laundering operation when the IRS perino'd me.

At 8:01 PM, Blogger KenInNY said...

Definitely works for me, Bil!


At 7:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is my fervent wish that many of these people will soon be out of the job market because they are in jail.


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