The Bush Administration's Spoils System

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To the victor belongs the spoils! It is not about what you know it is all about who you know! These are the expressions that immediately come to mind when noticing someone that did not quite fit the requirements of a leadership role are in that leadership role. In the article about the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA), the Bush administration selected appointees they felt were for the cause of ensuring their political party and America would be favored in the eyes of the Iraqi public. It was the epitome of what a spoils system was all about. In this paper, we will discuss the ways the ‘appointments’ of the CPA resemble a spoils system and how they did not. Also discuss the strengths and weaknesses between how our founding fathers would …show more content…

Spoils systems where referenced, refer to political parties, and how the winner would reward his/her friends and supporters with high ranking positions. The Bush Administration needed people on the front lines that were strong supporters of what was about to happen in Iraq. They needed ‘yes’ men who would do as they were told. They hired really young men, fresh out of college, eager to start working. A 24-year-old, young man gets a call from the President of the United States telling him that he wants him to be the Director of some foreign initiative, paying him a lot of money, it is highly unlikely that he is going to turn down that opportunity. Rewarding a friend or associate just because you know him but you know he is completely wrong for a job, is like not disciplining a child for being disrespectful. Neither one of these scenarios makes sense and could cause grave consequences if not rectified. In the case of the Bush Administration, hiring Bremer turned out to be a hug mistake. One we have yet to recover from. This situation mirrored the ideological concepts of a spoil system to a tee. There was not much differentiation in how the Bush Administration selected individuals for the CPA as compared to how George Washington Plunkitt suggested how members of Tammany Hall were selected. For this example, …show more content…

Granted the majority of the positions available back in the late 1700’s, were held by members of great wealth, but you had to have some degree of competence to hold these titles. You did not have to be a subject matter expert, but having some type of knowledge would have sufficed for the founding fathers in placing you in esteem positions where thought provocation was an everyday occurrence. Having a sound mind and good character meant a lot back in the early developments of our government as we know it today. Too bad those original values that were instilled when our constitution was first written did not hold true. Had Washington assigned a Director of the CPA these are the questions he would ask the applicants: Do you come from a well to do family? Do you express the ability to think logically and quickly in adverse situations? Do you believe the executive should have more or less authority in the matters that arise dealing with foreign affairs? Are you of good character and efficiency? (Van Riper, 19) Washington and the few presidents that had the pleasure of founding our government, would have been more interested in what the person can do for the position versus what the position can do for the person.

On the contrast, the progressive’s generation were all about, the function of politics needs to have control of the administration. (Goodnow, 31) In other

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