"So there are Oliphaunts. But no one at home will ever believe me."
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Category — new new deal

Voting present on the battle but losing the war

One consequence of moving is that I’ve spent a lot less time looking at serious information, such political news and blogs. I’ve noticed from my Twitter time stream that most of my comments are really of the “what are you doing right now?” variety—mostly, what am I doing to hide from the crushing burden of moving.

However, I have had a lot more time to tune in to the conservative talk available in the Puget Sound area (KVI, KTTH), and I do still manage to peruse some serious news.

So while I have not been playing close attention I’ve noticed two themes emerging: the President’s major domestic agenda items (health care, cap and trade, financial regulation reform) are imperiled because senators are sensitive to the voters’ abhorrence of the deficit; and “the stimulus isn’t working.” People are talking about the lack of immediate spending, failure to identify the promised “shovel-ready” jobs, and the mismatch between expected expenditure (infrastructure) versus actual spending (Medicare).

A couple thoughts. First, isn’t it strange that these projects are expected by so many pundits to die in the Senate? Wasn’t that supposed to be the house that was less influenced by popular sentiment? Secondly, it is clear that the perceived failure of the stimulus is driving the voters’ reluctance for further reform. Yet the stimulus bill was the one piece of the domestic agenda that the President showed no personal interest in guiding—”Send me a bill, and I’ll sign it.” I think it will be a good lesson for the new Commander-in-Chief to learn about the importance of specifying the expected end state of a mission if his failure to get involved with the stimulus spending ultimately derails every other major policy objective of his administration.

Would his approval rating be taking a nose dive if he had looked at the first spending bill and said, “No, not good enough. Try again and cut the crap out this time”?

Most people have to learn the basics of organizational leadership (you will always be misunderstood; you have to personally inspect things from time to time; you have to describe the standards and then show that you uphold them) from being leaders. You don’t get that from being at the top of the heap of people who are supporting you. You get that from leading people who are indifferent to your success. I don’t know if the President got that at Harvard, or organizing communities, or running his Senate staff or campaign. He’s getting it now, though.

July 14, 2009   1 Comment

DRUDGE and the Big Picture

DRUDGE Geithner Power.jpg

Matt Drudge and yet another perfect juxtaposition. I was going to go to sleep but checked the web one last time and couldn’t resist posting this. I hope it stays up for a while, it’s really quite devastating.

I remember eagerly checking Drudge several times a day hoping for the blocky flashing siren. I guess those have been retired. This is so much more effective.

Here is the linked article, not that it will be remembered.

April 1, 2009   Comments Off