Ethics Observations On Neera Tanden’s Chickens Coming Home To Roost [Corrected]

Chickens attack

On December 1, 2020, you were able to read here that not-quite-elected-yet President Biden had signaled that he intended to nominate Neera Tanden as his Director of the Office of Management and Budget. That’s an important position that heads a supposedly non-partisan department, and Biden knew that she was about as far from non-partisan as they come:

Tanden was one of numerous Democrats to join the plot in 2016 to encourage electors in the Electoral College to ignore their states’ votes and refuse to elect Trump as President. Tanden endorsed fanatic NeverTrump lawyer Richard Painter’s argument that Trump’s violations of the Emolument Clause disqualified him from being President.Tanden also spread the false but effective conspiracy theory that Hillary Clinton lost because of Russian interference, claiming the “Russians did enough damage to affect more than 70k votes in 3 states.” Four days after the 2016 election, Tanden began implying that Russian hackers changed the vote totals.

“This,” I wrote, “is the nominee by an apparent President-elect whose allies are attacking Trump for challenging the current vote totals in court, rather than through rumors and contrived fantasy.”

Biden did in fact nominate Tardren, which rendered this pledge, the cynical, “I’m lying and there’s not a thing you can do about it!” tweet, null and void, as several other Presidential actions have:

Biden tweet4

Tanden is the president of The Center for American Progress, which is one of those public policy research institutes that lies to you in the first sentence of its description, saying it is “non-partisan.” It is a far-left advocacy organization, and if you could find a single Republican on its staff, I’d be gobsmacked. Tanden, however, the organization’s president, doesn’t even pretend to be non-partisan, being addicted to tweeting insults to the non-Democrats only, including Senators. But really, what’s the risk? After all, are Democrats in the Senate going to care that Biden’s nomination of a hyper-partisan to head OMB proves what a joke his pledge to end divisiveness is?

Doh! Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) said Friday he will not support Neera Tanden’s nomination for director of the Office of Management and Budget, citing her “overtly partisan statements.” Now THAT’s an understatement. Tanden deleted more than 1,000 insulting tweets ahead of her nomination, but the internet is forever, so Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio) read some of the juicy ones on the Senate floor. “You wrote that Susan Collins is ‘the worst,’ that Tom Cotton is a fraud, that vampires have more heart than Ted Cruz, you called Leader McConnell ‘Moscow Mitch’ and Voldemort,” Portman said.

Manchin said in a statement that should doom Tanden, since the Democrats can’t afford any defections in the evenly divided Senate,

“I have carefully reviewed Neera Tanden’s public statements and tweets that were personally directed towards my colleagues on both sides of the aisle from Senator Sanders to Senator McConnell and others. I believe her overtly partisan statements will have a toxic and detrimental impact on the important working relationship between members of Congress and the next director of the Office of Management and Budget. For this reason, I cannot support her nomination.”

Observations:

  • Good!
  • In addition to being hyper-partisan and the opposite of what Biden says he wants in his administration, Tanden is evidently an idiot. Any politician, academic or individual who has any aspirations to advance to new heights and who is not independent of public opinion is a fool to shoot of his or her metaphorical mouth on Twitter. I, for example, shoot off my metaphorical mouth on my own blog, under the auspices of my own company. Nobody is going to nominate me for anything, and if was offered a million bucks to work for anyone else, requiring me to lose control of my work-family balance, I wouldn’t take it. I could afford to be an asshole on social media, and I still don’t, because it’s wrong. For Tanden it is wrong and stupid, yet she did it anyway. Yeah, that’s just the kind of person you want in charge of the budget…
  • She’s also a liar, telling the Senate,  “I deleted tweets because I regretted my tone and I’ve deleted tweets over many months … But for those concerned about my rhetoric and my language, I’m sorry, and I’m sorry for any hurt that they’ve caused.” No, she was destroying evidence. Odd that she didn’t regret her tone before she knew she would have to face her targets in a hearing.
  • That’s not even a good apology. She’s only sorry for those concerned about her rhetoric? So if you said, “Go get ’em, girl!” and cheered on her attacks, she’s not sorry? She’s sorry for the hurt, but that doesn’t mean she still  doesn’t hate Ted Cruz, right? There were nine pages of anti-Cruz tweets.
  • Does Manchin deserve an Ethics Hero mantle for this? I think doing the only competent, rational thing that every one of your colleagues have an obligation to do as well but are too unethical to realize it is the bare minimum, not exemplary. Any Democrat who votes to confirm Neera is insulting the Republicans she insulted: a vote is like a retweet.
  • This was predictable. Chuck Schumer was incompetent not to warn Biden that the nomination was DOA, and Biden’s staff was incompetent not to point out just how hypocritical it made him look.

9 thoughts on “Ethics Observations On Neera Tanden’s Chickens Coming Home To Roost [Corrected]

  1. APOLOGY FROM HEADQUARTERS: Once again, a post got up with way too many typos. I hate that: I was pulled away by a sudden “Get down here!” and ended up on a lengthy errand and a slippery dog walk. I hit the post button as I left my office, and should not have.

    It was not until I read Gamereg’s nudge that I remembered the thing needed an extensive edit.

  2. I you read the NYT, you will certainly understand the importance of her nomination:

    Ms. Tanden would be the first woman of color to head the Office of Management and Budget, an agency that is critical to the execution of the administration’s economic and policy agendas.

    You’d also understand the Schumerian logic of why it would be unfair not not to support her nomination (hint: TDS is alive and well!):

    Many Democrats accused Republicans of unfairly singling out Ms. Tanden’s social media posts after years of evading queries about President Donald J. Trump’s tweets, even when they espoused racist and offensive commentary or targeted their own colleagues.

    “Honestly, the hypocrisy is astounding,” Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader, said at the time. “If Republicans are concerned about criticism on Twitter, their complaints are better directed at President Trump. I fully expect to see some crocodile tears spilled on the other side of the aisle over the president-elect’s cabinet nominees.”

    /sarcasm off

  3. “Biden’s staff was incompetent not to point out just how hypocritical it made him look.”

    Hah! Joe Biden is a dead man talking. They don’t have to point out anything to them. His staff are running the show. Neera Tanden is one of them. She’s a lefty superstar among the AUC. She’s Indian (since when are Indians discriminated against in the U.S.). I’m sure “Biden’s staff” assumes they could bring Fidel Castro back to life and he’d be approved to be the Secretary of the Treasury. They are THAT arrogant and full of themselves.

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