Sunday, February 08, 2009

# Posted 11:57 PM by Ariel David Adesnik  


I just personally think it's just craziness.

The problem in Washington is not that we have too many corrupt people. The problem is we don't have enough people who know how to pass legislation. And Tom Daschle does know how to pass legislation. He could have really helped pass a health care bill.

And to lose him, it's just not worth it. It's not worth it long term.
Not everyone likes the kind of legislation that Tom Daschle likes to pass, but that's sort of besides the point. Losing supremely qualified Cabinet officers over relatively minor ethical issues problematic. What if Bob Gates never became Secretary of Defense because he forgot to pay some taxes?

On the other hand, it's strange for Brooks to say that "too many corrupt people" isn't the problem in Washington. It is, although a lack of competent Cabinet members is a problems. It's a tough trade off.

As Brooks himself points out later in the discussion, today's political climate made Daschle's withdrawal unavoidable. At least rhetorically, Obama raised the ethics bar so high that there was no way Daschle could survive the scrutiny of the nominating process. To Obama's chagrin, he didn't realize the implications of his own rhetoric until it was too late.

Interestingly, Brooks' liberal debating partner Mark Shields, an unflagging admirer of Obama, now seems to agree that the President was just plain wrong to spend 18 months denouncing lobbyists:
MARK SHIELDS: It was a great applause line to say, "No lobbyists." I think lobbyists are important to the process. I mean, not all lobbyists are stealing from widows and orphans. They are people who understand and care deeply about the process.
I feel like not too many liberal pundits made that point during the campaign.
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he didn't realize the implications of his own rhetoric until it was too late

Sadly, that's the true theme of the Obama campaign. And with a couple minor grammatical alterations, it also covers about 90% of the people who voted for him.
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