I sat back for two days to watch this entire firing of Shirley Sherrod unfold and have come to several observations.
First, after watching the entire video of her speech and going through comments of local farmers in Georgia...I'd have to say that she's a 5-star individual. When a farmer says "she done us right"...it tends to carry a lot of weight. You can't find a single person in Georgia so far...to criticize her...and I think that's really saying a lot for a government official.
Second, it's odd to me how you fire a government employee this fast. Over thirty years associated with the military and it's various government employees....it typically takes a minimum of two months...and possibly up to twelve months...to fire a guy. If I wanted to fire someone...there's folder you pick up and then you complete some checklist...and just that act alone...will take several hours to fill out to start step one.
Those idiot lawyers for the SEC in DC who cruised lusty hot videos on their government computers last year? None were fired. The idiot who used his government VISA card to buy a bunch of Gor-Tex jackets right after Hurricane Katrina for FEMA folks....was simply handed paperwork but never fired.
So it's kind of unbelievable to me that some goofballs out of DC could find some rule to force her into quitting...in just three or four hours.
Then, there's this funny issue of them coming back to say 'sorry' over firing you, but offering you a job to teach race relations instead of your old job? She declined that...without much thinking. They felt she'd be a great teacher of cultural sensitivity....especially their stupidity of firing her? That part, I just don't understand.
Finally, we come to this trigger for the firing...Glenn Beck. Shirley readily tells the story that the White House was jamming the USDA and hyping up the whole Beck thing. So Beck is this powerful now? The White House is willing to do stupid things...just to counter Beck?
I'm thinking there must be a team of seven guys out there...meeting at 5PM DC time. I'm thinking of this imaginary make-up: two are Rahm's guys....one guy is from the DNC strategy team....two guys are authentic bloggers who feed internal e-mails to ABC, MSNBC, the Washington Post, Time, Newsweek, CBS, and NBC....and then the final two guys represent George Soros in some fashion.
The team probably has 90 minutes to summarize the damage done by Glenn's show that day...then they feed this forty-line message to the President's Blackberry. The President calls Rahm...discusses the problems of that day's broadcast....and then pushes out the counter-attack for the next day and the various media outlets.
Fear of Beck...is this what we've come to? Some Presidential administration that runs its offense like a defense...against one broadcast show?
When folks suggested a lack of maturity in the administration last summer...they might have been right.
So here's my final bit of advice...two choices. First, the White House needs to offer a contract to Glenn Beck of $2 billion a year to run NPR...either into the ground or into non-existence...it's his choice. Glenn would gladly take the job and probably stay busy destroying NPR. It'd be worth the effort to get him off their case.
Or the second choice....put another chair in the Oval Office....bring in Bill Clinton to manage the administration completely...from 8AM to 5PM...and just let President Obama attend social events. Beck's agenda would go downhill and the country would get back to the glory days of the 1990s.
My guess is that we will simply watch another 6.5 years of this amusing game continue....and learn to live with it....like CBS learned to live with Katie Couric...you know.