If you can't hire, you can't fire
Bruce Bartlett thinks that Timothy Geithner is becoming a liability to Obama, but there's not much Obama can do about it.
Geithner's political tone-deafness is becoming a serious liability to Obama. The problem with replacing him, as I have said earlier, is finding someone who is qualified, confirmable and not connected to Wall Street. Given that half the top political appointees at Treasury are still awaiting Senate confirmation, I think Obama may be stuck with Geithner no matter how low his stock falls. Is there a potential replacement who has paid his taxes, has populist leanings, knows Wall Street but isn't part of it, who wouldn't be filibustered by the Republicans?I made this point the other day, as well. A Senate that can't be trusted to confirm non-controversial nominees can't be trusted to confirm controversial nominees. In that way, holds and filibusters, which are supposed to make the executive branch's nominees more accountable, in fact makes confirmed nominees much less accountable, as the president can't trust his ability to easily replace them and so can't take the risk of firing them. I thought of ending this post with a line about how Republicans who want Geithner gone are actually making it impossible for him to go, but then I realized that Republicans probably don't want Geithner gone. They're served best by making him both unpopular and irreplaceable.
Photo credit: AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari.<.em>