Hack Diplomacy: Alive and Well

By Bill Maher

Making one of your top donors the ambassador to St. Bart's or Turks and Caicos is something presidents have always done, but the understanding was always that you sent these people to the countries in the Rum Belt, the ones where nothing ever happens - at least until that Van der Sloot kid shows up. 

But President Obama is catching some flack because he's sending donors to be the ambassadors of actual countries like Argentina and Norway and Hungary. The President nominated a man named Noah Bryson Mamet as ambassador to Argentina, because he bundled $500,000 for the president in 2012. There's only one problem: he's never been to Argentina. 

Colleen Bell's previous job was as a producer for The Bold and the Beautiful. She's headed to Hungary, mostly on account of bundling $800,000 for Obama. Also knows nothing about Hungary. George Tsunis is a hotel magnate who bundled $1 million for the president, and he gets to be ambassador to Norway, only he's got the same problem - he's never been there and doesn't know anything about Norway. 

John McCain led some of the questioning of these nominees, and had to end it by saying, sarcastically, "I have no more questions for this incredibly highly qualified group of nominees." Because if there's anyone who takes job qualifications seriously, it's the guy who wanted Sarah Palin to be president in the event he died. 

But I have to agree with him here. Reward your donors with plum assignments in countries where they can do no wrong, and no one will care. It's what presidents have always done. But this stuff has a very "Harriet Miers" ring to it. These jobs are not unimportant, and there are plenty of people who could do them better than that nice fundraiser lady from The Bold and the Beautiful. One of the things I couldn't stand about the Bush administration was how much it was staffed with hacks and know-nothings. Well, these are some hacks and know-nothings. Obama was supposed to be different with stuff like this, but he isn't. 

Also, since I donated a million, why was I not made the Ambassador to Freakytown like I asked?