Monday, April 25, 2005

"Call Us Nutty"

It seems that BushCo doesn't want people representing it who might have donated money to Kerry. Now, I have done a fair amount of work with international standards organizations (mostly the IEEE and ISO, with a few excursions to ANSI and a few other minor groups), so I have some insight into what's going on here.

I just had a look at the "standards committee" in question, the Inter- American Telecommunication Commission. It's an intergovernment organization under the auspices of the OAS. In other words, it's a committee where representatives of various governments get together to thrash things out on a high level.

Usually, organizations like this start with the "local" standards and then thrash our differences. The technical content is minimal. The technical stuff gets thrashed out on the lower levels, where the qualification for admission is the ability to show up and pay the (quite modest) conference fees.

White House spokesman Trent Duffy is correct when he says that "We wanted people who would represent the Administration positively". This is a government operation, after all. However, saying "and--call us nutty--it seemed like those who wanted to kick this Administration out of town last November would have some difficulty doing that" is absolutely outrageous.

What we're dealing with is called professionalism — doing the best job you're capable of despite your own feelings on the matter. Saying that someone is incapable of representing the policies of the Government if he disagrees with those policies is saying that he is incapable of fulfilling his responsibilities as a professional. Doctors treat people they don't like. Lawyers represent murderers. Teachers teach brats. Cops enforce laws they disagree with.

And some of the people that BushCo bounced from the delegation had been US representatives for years. Pros.

The Bush administration judges everybody else by their own standards.

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