With Friends Like These...

Randy Babbitt already had one strike against him when his name was floated as a possible Administrator of the FAA. After being ignored for the weekend, to wake up and see this, bright and early on Monday morning, doesn’t help.

”The following is a statement by AIA President and CEO Marion Blakey:

Randy Babbitt is an excellent choice to head the Federal Aviation Administration. “

I wonder if the fact that I found it on Fox is a coincidence -- or just more salt in our wounds.

For those just joining this saga, Marion Blakey is the ex-Administrator of the FAA. She is the one that imposed the contract on the nation’s air traffic controllers and cut their pay. The fact that she did it on Labor Day epitomizes her reign at the FAA: petty and vicious. Her endorsement -- as far as controllers are concerned -- is like the kiss of death from the Wicked Witch of the West. I’ll let the fact that she jumped ship from the FAA straight into the arms of the people she was supposed to be regulating speak for itself.

With friends like these, Mr. Babbitt doesn’t need any enemies. Neither does the Obama Administration.

To me, this is the difference between Democrats and Republicans. At least in the last decade. If I was a Republican, I’d toe the party line. It’s the message and party unity that is important. But, it’s that kind of thinking (in my humble opinion) that led us to moral, national and economic disaster. I’m a Democrat and I voice my dissent, even with my own party.

I voted for President Obama and I want him to succeed with all my heart. That goes for Mr. Babbitt too, should he be confirmed. I hate to say it, but this is an inauspicious start. I realize that President Obama has a full plate. An overflowing plate. I think I’m realistic enough that I wasn’t expecting anyone to be named Administrator that would cause me to jump up and down for joy. I was hoping for better than guarded pessimism.

Mr. Babbitt’s union background is obviously welcomed. His career as a pilot underwhelms me but is inevitable. His actions since -- especially his term on the Management Advisory Council -- leave me pessimistic.

Don Brown
March 30, 2009


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