To fire someone is to admit that their appointment was a failure... and this just won't do. So instead of relieving someone of their job, the new approach is to appoint a "deputy" underneath them to do their job for them. The head of FEMA has just been quasi-replaced in this manner. As the Washington Post reports,
With Michael D. Brown, the embattled public face of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, taking harsh criticism for the slow federal response to Hurricane Katrina, the secretary of homeland security this week assigned a top Coast Guard official to help bail him out.
Vice Adm. Thad W. Allen, the Coast Guard's chief of staff, was assigned on Monday to be Brown's deputy and to take over operational control of the search-and-rescue and recovery efforts along the Gulf Coast. The unprecedented task of coordinating the massive effort was handed off to a leader and expert who was described by colleagues as unflappable, engaging and intensely organized...
DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff handpicked Allen to essentially lead the federal recovery efforts in New Orleans... to oversee, manage and lead all military and civilian recovery efforts.
But of course, Bush assures us that Brown is doing a fine job. My question is: with Allen doing all the work, what exactly is Brown's job now?