chris tessone at protestant polyglot is short and to-the-point about the negroponte appointment.
if anyone has read the introduction to krugman's book (i have, but only briefly), they'll remember his argument that the bush administration and its cronies are actually attempting a revolution that seeks to destroy basic foundations of american politics (not to mention the dignity of american institutional politics as previously understood), from social welfare programs to traditional systems of accountability.
whenever this administration does something that boggles my mind, i simply remember krugman's introduction.
now, i don't know if bush and his ilk are consciously attempting something revolutionary, but whether they "mean it" or not, they are entirely willing to subvert all the basic assumptions--all the things that keep people in democratic societies engaged and participating. it is an anti-democratic revolution; its purpose, whether dubya himself knows it or not (and i hold him responsible either way), is to destroy faith in institutional politics by consolidating the power of the state in the hands of crony capitalists.
appointing negroponte is not the last straw, or the final proof, or anything like that. it's just one more addition to the mounting pile of stinky, insulting shit that this administration has thrown at the legitimacy of american institutions of governance.