Friday, January 2, 2009

Blowhard of the Day: Jim O'Beirne

Meet Jim O'Beirne, the first Blowhard of 2009. Okay...that's not really Jim (couldn't find a suitable pic), but it might as well be.

You see, Jim is a longtime GOP operative, married to conservative commentator Kate O'Beirne, and he's the special assistant to the Secretary of Defense for White House Liaisons. He's also a jagoff.

How about a little history on Mr. O'Beirne. As Marshall notes, Jimmy boy got to sign off on all political appointees to the Defense Department, specifically those that got to go over to Iraq and make that good "reconstruction chedda." That sounds kind of important. You know, a lot of people probably wanted to pitch in and help in the fight on terror by creating that shining light of democracy in Iraq, you know. Whoever signed off on them, probably had to make sure they knew what they were doing. You know, actually could speak Arabic, knew something about development in extreme conditions, had experience in construction and what not. How did O'Beirne's office separate the wheat from the chaff?
O'Beirne's staff posed blunt questions to some candidates about domestic
politics: Did you vote for George W. Bush in 2000? Do you support the way the
president is fighting the war on terror? Two people who sought jobs with the
U.S. occupation authority said they were even asked their views on Roe v. Wade.

How's that for "putting country first."

But all that is in the past, to what does Jimmy owe the current honor? Well, despite the fact that Obama has decided to keep Jimmy's boss, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Obama is exercising the right all Presidents exercise when taking office and informing many political appointees that they will not be retained. Specifically, it looks like Obama's transition team has so informed about 90 appointees (and keeping roughly 160 of them). Now despite the fact that most political appointees are routinely replaced when a new President takes office, and they expect to be so replaced, Jimmy has taken offense.

In the email, O'Beirne tried to assure the soon-to-be displaced employees that
the decisions were based on "policy change in the Obama administration" and not
based on performance.

However, he said, if employees "harbor residual
doubts" then they can "content yourself with the likelihood that it was your
outstanding performance as a Bush appointee that drew the opposition's attention
to you."

"In that regard, you may take justifiable satisfaction that you were
among the first to be chosen," O'Beirne wrote.

It is not the fact that Jimmy seems to be accusing Obama of playing politics with employment decisions that wins him the award. Hell...given O'Beirne's history, he may be paying Obama a compliment. No, what wins this idiot the Blowhard award, is this: in direct communication to officials at the Pentagon, and in his position as an official at the Pentagon, this moron refers to Barak Obama as "the opposition." That's right, Jim O'Beirne is telling members of the Department of Defense that their next Commander in Chief is the enemy.

Good job, Jim. And good riddance.

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