The title of this post is taken from the cover story on the Oct. 17 issue of The New Republic, which notes:

[W]hile cronies populate every presidency, no administration has etched the principles of hackocracy into its governing philosophy as deeply as this one. If there’s an underappreciated corner of the bureaucracy to fill, it has found just the crony (or college roommate of a crony), party operative (or cousin of a party operative) to fill it.
And just when one might foolishly think the Bush administration can’t get any more hackocratic than it already is, oddjob points to this article, which reports that a political loyalty test is now being used by the National Park Service in filling all positions of mid-level management and above.

The National Park Service has started using a political loyalty test for picking all its top civil service positions, according to an agency directive released today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). Under the new order, all mid-level managers and above must also be approved by a Bush administration political appointee.

The October 11, 2005 order issued by NPS Director Fran Mainella requires that the selection criteria for all civil service management slots (Government Service grades or GS-13, 14 and 15) include the "ability to lead employees in achieving the ...Secretary's 4Cs and the President's Management Agenda." …

The President's Management Agenda includes controversial policies and proposals such as aggressive use of outsourcing to replace civil servants, reliance on "faith-based initiatives" and rollbacks of civil service rights.
The order, which is described as “an unprecedented political intrusion into what are supposed to be non-partisan, merit system personnel decisions,” applies to “park superintendents, assistant superintendents and program managers, such as chief ranger or the head of interpretive or cultural programs.” If you’d like a mere preview of exactly what this could mean for our National Parks Service, check out this post from November, which focused on possible changes to a film shown at the Lincoln Memorial and the decision to sell a book at the Grand Canyon, claiming it was formed by the great flood from the biblical story of Noah.

"Presidents come and go but the civil service is designed to serve whoever occupies the swivel chair in the Oval Office," [PEER Executive Director Jeff Ruch] added. "It is downright creepy that now every museum curator, supervising scientist and chief ranger must be okayed by a high-level political appointee."
It’s beyond creepy—it’s un-American, and it’s the logical extension of a hackocracy run amok.

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