Cronyism: Homeland Security honcho Janet Napolitano announced she'd quit her cabinet post on Friday to take a $750,000-a-year job as president of the University of California system. Is this the best the regents can do?
Instead of appointing a world class scientist, leading medical expert, respected academic or distinguished public servant — such as the truly qualified Condoleezza Rice — to lead the great University of California system, the UC regents opted for a political hack of no academic merit whatsoever. Their pick, Janet Napolitano, has presided over one disaster after another at the Department of Homeland Security.
Dubbed Big Sis by Internet impresario Matt Drudge for her tone-deaf intrusions on the citizenry, Napolitano has obediently enforced even the most absurd White House policies.
Apparently, those on the board of the UC system, such as ex-Hollywood big shot Sherry Lansing, want just such a pawn for their own purposes.
Their choice of Napolitano over other far more qualified candidates is also a bid to extend and lengthen Barack Obama's legacy beyond 2016 by planting his minions in choice public and private leadership spots.
This is as true of the unqualified Napolitano as it is for former EPA chief Lisa Jackson, who took a top post at Apple. It's what Italian communist ideologue Antonio Gramsci called the long march through the institutions — the institutional takeover of our culture by the left.
There's every reason to think Napolitano would bring what was once considered the world's finest public university system to a new low. Her record at Homeland Security was a series of failures, stemming from a slavish devotion to her boss in the White House and an adherence to political correctness.
That would explain why Napolitano could surrealistically claim the U.S. border security "has never been stronger" at a time when cartel bullets from Mexico pocked the walls of El Paso's city hall, and 11 million illegal immigrants worried so little about her department's immigration enforcement that they marched through the halls of Congress to plead their case as if they were citizens petitioning their own government.
Her fealty to White House policies came as her own immigration enforcement agents loudly protested against her not letting them do their jobs.
Her political correctness also made her especially incompetent in the war on the terror, the very reason the department was created.
In 2009, an al-Qaida-trained Nigerian terrorist tried to blow up an airliner over Detroit on Christmas Day.
Napolitano echoed President Obama's initial response by confidently claiming terrorism had nothing to do with it, writing it off as the act of an "isolated extremist." The investigation later told a different story.
Same with the Fort Hood massacre in 2009 — an attack with all the earmarks of global terrorism, but which Napolitano called "workplace violence."
The real terror threat? Napolitano said it came from "right-wing extremists" and diverted resources in that direction — while the real terrorists, such as the Boston bombers, plotted to blow up this past spring's marathon with no interference.
And just to underline what she really stood for — Napolitano presided over the Transportation Security Administration, which today is one of the worst faces of Big Government, harassing terrified toddlers on their way to Disneyland and old war heroes in wheelchairs holding colostomy bags. Heckuva job, Janet.
Someone with this record at the University of California can lead that once-great institution only downhill.
Whether it's the regents seeking a friend at the White House to help them shake out more funds from well-heeled leftists — or, more darkly, a pawn who will say black is white when bad news comes out — it can't be good news to have a political hack like Napolitano at the greatest public university system in the country.
Pity the students. And what a wasted opportunity.