Thursday, April 1, 2010

A couple of gems from Kuttner and Reich

Came accross two really interesting articles over on The American Prospect recently.

In Game Changer, Robert Kuttner talks about Presdiential leadership.  I think that ClassicLiberal made some very good points in he comment to my last post, even though I think he's being WAAAY too pessimistic. ;) While I disagree with his overall assessment, I DO hope that President Obama considers some of the things that Mr. Kuttner talks about here.  His greatest gift is charisma, which is to say, "leadership," so it's high time he started LEADING.

In Don't Wait for Reform, Robert Riech demonstrates that, once again, we don't need new laws so much as we need to start enforcing the ones we have.  This is true of MANY issues, but it appears particularly apt for banking reform.  Since the best talent that industry has is for playing "hide the salami" with their protfolios and balance sheets, new laws will be irrelevant without strong enforment.  And strong enforcement of Sarbox might actually be enough.

Anyway, I enjoyed these, so I thought I'd share.

2 comments:

  1. Kuttner says (in more diplomatic language, perhaps) the same thing I've been saying for ages. Kuttner only trips over himself on this point:

    "...since early March, something potentially transformative has happened. The seeker of common ground has metamorphosed into a fighting partisan."

    As the last week painfully demonstrates (the time after Kuttner would have written that), no such transformation has taken place. Kuttner correctly identifies Obama's major political failing, the one this transformation would have corrected:

    "Despite his exceptional potential, Obama dismayed his progressive base in his first year in office by clinging to an illusion of bipartisanship long after Republicans made clear that their only goal was to destroy him."

    In the last few days, Obama has started work on his energy policy, and he's doing the same damn thing he's done on everything else; pursuing "bipartisanship," instead of a policy. As with EVERY OTHER MAJOR POLICY INITIATIVE HE'S UNDERTAKEN, he immediately spits in the face of his own base and reverses positions he's held throughout the whole of his political career, and starts handing out candy to Republicans in the vain hope that they'll fall in line behind him, which they won't. Expanding nuclear power, expanding oil and natural gas drilling in the U.S. He demands nothing in exchange for this, and he'll get nothing, and meanwhile, the U.S. neither has an energy policy worthy of the name, nor will it gain one via this process.

    If his usual pattern holds, the Republicans will simply dig in, refuse to compromise on anything, and he'll just give and give and give until what's left as an energy policy is to the right of Junior Bush, and Democrats will have to pass the emerging legislation on a party-line vote. And Eddie will say Obama deserves reelection!

    (Sorry, couldn't resist)

    Overall evaluation: If we're going to have Republicans running the government, it's FAR better to have Republicans running the government, because, then, liberals who are too closely aligned with parties don't feel compelled to defend them.

    The RNC has it right: round up Obama and the cabinet and take them to some bondage-themed nightclub.

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  2. Classic,

    I'll come back to this. I wrote out a long, well thought out (IMHO) comment and this piece of shit computer I'm working on LOST the fucking thing and I'm not in the mood right now to try and remember what I said and re-type it. I'll reply in my next post. It's about time I did something on energy anyway.

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