Your tax dollars at work

When Condi Rice went to Tbilisi, the plane she should have been using was flying Dick Cheney to Republican fundraisers.

From today’s WaPo:

When the State Department scrambled to put together Condoleezza Rice’s trip last Wednesday to Georgia’s capital of Tbilisi, officials quickly realized they had a problem &#8212 and his name was Vice President Cheney.

That same day, Cheney was flying on Air Force Two on a fundraising trip to Colorado and California. The plane is one of three C-32s &#8212 a military version of the Boeing 757-200 &#8212 shared by the vice president and the secretary of state, officials said.

But one of the remaining jets was in for maintenance, and the last is always kept as an emergency backup for Air Force One, officials said. That meant Rice had to settle for a smaller Air Force C-40, with limits on staff, security and media. That did not go over well with reporters, who wanted to accompany Rice and questioned why she was not afforded a bigger plane for such an important journey.

Lea Anne McBride, a Cheney spokeswoman, said the vice president’s office has no role in assigning the use of airplanes.

Obviously, Republican fund-raising tax precedence over handling foreign policy crises. What else would you expect from this Administration? This is trivial, of course, compared to staffing the CPA with partisan hacks and letting Iraq go to hell as a result, but it’s all cut from the same cloth.

Footnote This would never happen to the Secretary of Defense.

Second footnote I have this categorized under “Corruption in Washington” even though no one was enriched personally. The use of public resources for partisan gain is corruption. Too bad the press doesn’t think of it that way.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: