If You Work in the Bush White House

At what point do you stop and say to yourself, "well, if Bolten fires me, what have I really lost?"

According to Elisabeth Bumiller at the International Herald Tribune, not yet. Many at the White House are afraid that in an effort to make they Bush Administration more effective, they'll be fired.

The White House has never been a cozy place to work, but under this President Bush, who hates change and who has rarely been able to dismiss anyone, it became something of a sinecure. (Bush had Vice President Dick Cheney fire Snow's predecessor, Paul O'Neill, in 2002.) Aides stayed an unusually long time, and Card was widely liked for his easy manner and tolerance for working mothers who slipped out for school events. People may have come in at 6 or 7 a.m., but they left at 7 p.m., relatively early for Washington.

More to the point, Bolten has a sharper management style than Card. "Josh is a little more overtly demanding," said one former member of the administration who asked not to be identified so that he could stay on good terms with White House aides. "He's immediately playing the devil's advocate, and he'll challenge you on a lot of things, mostly to make sure it was well thought through and to see if there are any holes in the argument."
So the Republicans, champions of all things mean and market driven, are now facing the actual consequences of market forces. Finding themselves facing being downsized, they discover that always watching your back isn't an enjoyable way to work.

Doesn't this Bolten guy know that all this efficiency and downsizing stuff is just for little people? Rich, powerful people like those that work at the White House deserve to be able to have legacy jobs, ensured by their father's loyalty to George W. Bush's father.

And in the mean time, the intrepid CEO, anxious to foster good relations between the work force and management, has put his nose to the grindstone to make sure that the employees are treated fairly, right?
In the meantime, Bush blew off steam this past weekend in two intense mountain bike rides during his California trip. On Sunday he rode in the desert surrounding Palm Springs and Rancho Mirage, where he stayed at a luxury lodge, and on Saturday he rode in a foggy forest high above the Napa Valley wine country.
I guess these White House employees aren't used to working with the same fear, that they'll downsized, that millions of Americans work with every day. And it's not like these people wouldn't be able to find new jobs. Or, stuck living paycheck to paycheck, wouldn't be able to provide for their families if they lost their jobs. Or be able to buy their prescriptions after losing their health coverage.

Oh, wait. Regular Americans don't have health care anyway...

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