Andrew Sullivan joins the rightwing blogosphere to take down Janet Napolitano
I think Andrew Sullivan is over-reacting. He’s basing his calls for Napolitano’s resignation on a couple of interviews she’s done wherein she has not, apparently, taken enough responsibility for the attempted bombing of flight 253 into Detroit by the Nigerian “crotch-bomber.” Indeed, it appears Sullivan is now hopping aboard the right-wing “fire Napolitano” bandwagon, shooting first and asking questions later. Or never.
But we should ask questions. Like, for instance:
Do we begin firing Secretaries of this-or-that Department each time we experience some failure or breach? Does it make sense to fire Napolitano (after only one year and no major security breakdowns) simply because her answers in a handful of interviews were not the ones Andrew Sullivan (and his erstwhile allies on the right) wanted to hear?
I think this sort of mentality is actually quite destructive. How is the Department of Homeland Security ever supposed to adapt to new challenges or learn from its mistakes if every time there is a security issue we toss out the leadership? Will firing Napolitano guarantee that we have more competent leadership in her place or will it just mean that some other new appointee has to learn all the ropes all over again? I think that a pattern of failures would certainly warrant such a response, but a few clumsily answered questioned on daytime television and one nearly-very-bad terrorist attack hardly justifies this reaction, let alone her resignation or removal.
Quite frankly, this whole hullaballoo is just that – a hysterical reaction – on the part of Sullivan especially who should know better. The right-o-sphere is eager to take a swing at any Obama official at any time and for any reason, but Sullivan should have the patience to think things through enough to offer up some coherent and constructive commentary on the issue. That whole “conservative disposition” thing is clearly not on display at the Dish today. This sort of guns-blazing reaction is too reminiscent of the sort of post 9-11 punditry that led us down this dismal road to begin with.