Record Numbers Apply For Jobs Despite Application From Hell

A couple of weeks ago I provided examples of the vast amount of information required of applicants for jobs in the Obama administration. This does not appear to have disuaded many people as record numbers are applying for jobs. The Los Angeles Times reports:

So far, the transition team has received 290,000 applications for jobs in the Obama administration through its website — — and officials believe they could wind up with 1 million job-seekers by the time Obama is sworn into office on Jan. 20.

By comparison, before President Bush took office in 2001, he received just 44,000 requests for political jobs. As former President Clinton assumed the White House in 1993, he had received 125,000 applications for jobs.

The problem is that only about 8,000 non-career service positions are available, according to the Plum Book, which lists those jobs.

Posted in Barack Obama. Tags: . No Comments »

McCarthyism, Nixon, and the Republican Party

I’ve often noted that the modern Republican Party is not something which Barry Goldwater could support. During the later years of his life he objected to both the influence of the religious right in the Republican Party and to the criminality of Richard Nixon and called himself a liberal. I have also compared the tactics of the modern Republicans to those of Richard Nixon, Spiro Agnew, and Joseph McCarthy. Neil Gabler, writing in The Los Angeles Times, makes the same point:

The creation myth of modern conservatism usually begins with Barry Goldwater, the Arizona senator who was the party’s presidential standard-bearer in 1964 and who, even though he lost in one of the biggest landslides in American electoral history, nevertheless wrested the party from its Eastern establishment wing. Then, Richard Nixon co-opted conservatism, talking like a conservative while governing like a moderate, and drawing the opprobrium of true believers. But Ronald Reagan embraced it wholeheartedly, becoming the patron saint of conservatism and making it the dominant ideology in the country. George W. Bush picked up Reagan’s fallen standard and “conservatized” government even more thoroughly than Reagan had, cheering conservatives until his presidency came crashing down around him. That’s how the story goes.

But there is another rendition of the story of modern conservatism, one that doesn’t begin with Goldwater and doesn’t celebrate his libertarian orientation. It is a less heroic story, and one that may go a much longer way toward really explaining the Republican Party’s past electoral fortunes and its future. In this tale, the real father of modern Republicanism is Sen. Joe McCarthy, and the line doesn’t run from Goldwater to Reagan to George W. Bush; it runs from McCarthy to Nixon to Bush and possibly now to Sarah Palin. It centralizes what one might call the McCarthy gene, something deep in the DNA of the Republican Party that determines how Republicans run for office, and because it is genetic, it isn’t likely to be expunged any time soon.

The basic problem with the Goldwater tale is that it focuses on ideology and movement building, which few voters have ever really cared about, while the McCarthy tale focuses on electoral strategy, which is where Republicans have excelled.

Gabler explores this in greater detail. This could also be seen in this year’s election where members of Barry Goldwater’s family endorsed Obama while John McCain utilized the tactics of Joe McCarthy.