1. I'm pleased Senator Daschle stepped down. I think I was the first and most frequent critic of his nomination. Too bad my central meme: that he had insufficient administrative experience and health and human services expertise never caught on.
2. Shame about the highly qualified performance czar/ OMB deputy, also lost due to unpaid taxes. But blame Daschle. I think she would have made it in if not for him, given she shares "unique" qualifications similar to Geithner.
3. There needs to be a better mentor track for talent to keep them from committing:
1. tax mistakes or fraud
2. marital infidelity
4. general violations of law or strong cultural norms
Each person nominated or running for a high civil position has a whole network of support staff dependent on their success and avoidance of scandal. It strikes me as weird that the support staff don't put in place policies to minimize chance of scandalous behavior. Is your boss running for Senator or Governor? Was your son elected class president and did he just score in the 99.9th% on the LSAT? Assume that they will cheat on their taxes, cheat on their spouse with a prostitute, and engage in rampant plagiarism and cheating in college and graduate school. Now, what are you going to do about it? Demand they meet once per month with a sex addiction specialist, even though they deny a sex addiction problem? Hire someone to check all their school research papers for plagiarism before they submit them for grading?
The cost for having a relatively unblemished past seems low to me compared to the status rewards, both for the individual and their support staff. And we're all stakeholders in not losing the best talent due to violations of laws or social taboos.
So how about some mechanisms to protect talent as a class from otherwise inevitable flameouts. How about some paternalism for our paternal class?