« Friday Evening Floralude | Main | Morning Morsels: Winners and Losers in The Big Switch »

November 01, 2010

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

I think this is a great post. One correction and one question:

Dems retook Congress only 4 years ago, in 2006; when Katrina struck in 2005, the GOP controlled the WH, House and Senate.

I totally hear you on the Dem elite/expert/technocrat thing...but I'm a little fuzzy on your juxtaposition b/w "ideas" and getting down to work. Surely there still need to be ideas and policy interventions guiding the work that needs to be done? I don't think the problem is just about ideas - it's the wrong ideas and less than we'd like to see on execution. Measly stimulus, no jobs bill, weakened financial re-regulation, etc. etc.

Anyway, I just am curious if you think "doers" are pp whose m.o. is to throw stuff up at the wall and see what sticks. That's not exactly reassuring...

I knew you would manage to poke at this piece's weakest links...

"Six years ago"? What was I thinking?... I think I was subtracting 2011 from 2005, or something; didn't we win back the Senate in 2004? Just Kidding (JK, as they say). :) Total slip of the typing fingers... and a good catch.

In terms of what I mean by "concrete" or "practical" "doers"... I mean, there's the whole problem in a nutshell, right? I mean you could argue,as some do (notably, I'd guess, say, a Howard Dean or Tom Daschle), that healthcare "reform" is just chock full of practical and concrete... and yet that new law is example one of the problem, rather than solution...

I suppose what I mean is I wish that Administration officials would stop using using terms like "ambitious" and "agenda" when describing the work of governing; everything is too big, too much... sending in the big guns when we need flyswatters, or something similar. What I mean is... why not call Janet Napolitano in and have her team at ICE sit down and come up with, say, 6 or 7 procedural improvements to the green card process? Starting there - and subsequently identifying problems in the actual, legal process to become a citizen - would then reframe the "immigration debate" into a process improvement discussion. I could think of similar ways to approach education policy, or housing... or having Kathleen Sibelius marshall a task force to streamline Medicare in 5 different ways. It's a small scale approach that takes advantage of their relative strengths - the wonky, analytical, educated expertise - and aims it at what really makes a difference to people and eases fears about government. It can work, it can help... and here's how.

I think the problem when "educated" and "elite" meet is that there's an instinctive sense that things have be that much better, that much more, that much bigger; I think the Obama Administration is too easily swayed by its press - not that they're the second coming, but that they were put there to make big accomplishments, to see "hope" and "change" as bigger than they actually are. Change things at a more basic, more fundamental level... and then see what builds. We're married, as Democrats to wanting Roosevelt or Kennedy (or perhaps, more prosaically, Johnson) - size accomplishments and great people striding the big stage. And I've argued all along that Obama is bigger, really, when he starts from being average size. Experience, I think, would have been a good teacher for him on that. But he didn't get that... and now, here we are.

You are an incrementalist, it sounds like...

http://www.archonfung.net/docs/temp/LindblomMuddlingThrough1959.pdf

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

Blog powered by Typepad

google list

Bookmark and Share