One of the most significant problems of bureaucracy in a democratic polity is how to achieve a tolerable coexistence between political and managerial control. When these aspects of control get out of balance, certain pathologies occur. This paper seeks to draw lessons from a study of the Federal Emergency Management Agency that show that the politicization of the administrative mechanisms of government, in the name of controlling bureaucracy and policy, has some effects that erode rather than enhance the capacity of democratic governance. These effects are in every way as serious as any threats posed to a democracy and the institutions of governance by a non-responsive bureaucracy or a bureaucracy that plays more than a role of mere implementation of policy made by others.