Now that Paul Wolfowitz has tendered his resignation at the World Bank, the White House is reportedly looking to quickly fill the slot of president at the bank. Despite years of evidence that the Bush administration has utterly no interest in filling any position with "the best individual for the job," White House spokesman Tony Fratto said,
We want someone who has a real passion for lifting people out of poverty.Laughable on its face, if the White House thinks they're going to find such a creature loping around the halls of the West Wing or any other of this administration's deeply cynical, politicized agencies, "quickly" will not be the way the position of president of the World Bank will be filled. It will be filled quickly, I'm sure. But it won't be by anyone even closely resembling the above description.
Paul Wolfowitz spent much of his time at the bank politicizing that institution in the exactly the same way the Bush administration has treated the US federal government: a welfare dole for family, friends and campaign donors. And, as is so obvious, not terribly competent ones. The difference at the World Bank is that there has been significant resistance to this. If anyone thought the ouster of Wolfowitz was about shunting some bucks to his girlfriend, it would be advisable to understand that directors at the Bank have been critical of Wolfowitz for quite sometime for his practice of driving out knowledgeable, experienced experts and replacing them with ideologically like-minded Republican hacks who are "short on expertise and long on political connections." That was the real crime that was not sitting well with the Bank. The girlfriend was a convenient pretext -- some say an orchestrated one -- to boot him out before too much damage was done. The Bush administration and certainly Wolfowitz are all too familiar with how well pretexts can be used to exact an agenda of a completely different sort.
In reality, the White House has little interest in "lifting people out of poverty." Six years of corporate friendly policies, which have led to millions more poor in this country alone, is hardly a record that would suggest they have any concern for the poor elsewhere.