Friday, December 03, 2004

The Stress Is On The First Syllable

We don't really share in the jingoism that has followed Bernard Kerik's appointment as Secretary of State for Homeland Security, and not just because the name of the department is one of those cake-and-eat-it tough-but-reassuring phrases that dribble out of the Bush administration so frequently. And we're not too worried that he's a former prison guard, or a current member of Giuliani's little consulting set-up.

Nope, we doubt the man's credentials. Sure, he's reassuring, blunt, a refreshing presence. Which did the trick after 9-11, when Gringcorp, like many other New York residents, found the Kerik/Giuliani pairing a note of calm in the aftermath. But the policing in New York City? We share the skepticism of these posters from law enforcement about Kerik's achievements in the field. What is his "hook"? Giuliani, mostly, as well as some corrections connections.

And, as Rory McCarthy notes in the Guardian, his record patching up the Iraqi police is pretty mixed. And it seems to be his work here, as well as his appearances after 9-11, that recommended him to George Bush. Still, given that he was wheeled out at the convention and during the Prez' campaign, the idea of a pay-off is hard to shake. It just looks like a choice that would have been more of a re-election play.

But prove us wrong, Bernard. Bring back the pork, make the INS - sorry, USCIS - slightly less unpleasant to deal with, give the coastguards bigger machine guns, and you'll have our love, we suppose.


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