I do find it interesting that there are people who believe, even today, that there is such a thing as “good government.” Good government, as the term is most often used, is a myth. It does not exist and at least in Washington DC, cannot exist.
Still many believe that if just the “right” people were to get into power government could–honest to goodness–it could work! That if some smart, committed, wiz kids could just hold the reigns and bring the big bad soft money to heel, a renaissance of government would ensue.
This is a fairy tale. Actually it’s worse than a fairy tale. It’s a comforting delusion which is perpetuated by people who either have no understanding of modern American politics, or alternatively have an all too accurate understanding of American politics. The powers that be want you to believe that government can work. So long as you the voter still at least sort of believe this the DC establishment is able to amass more power and greater wealth.
The only way to fight government corruption and abuse is to reduce government’s size. I know many of my progressive friends don’t want to accept this, but in my experience this is the only way forward. We don’t have the luxury of indulging in the comforting delusion any more. The stakes now are just too high.
As someone who kicks around K Street and Capitol Hill regularly I can tell you that much of Washington DC looks on the rest of America with contempt. This includes Republican lawmakers and lobbyists too, not just Northeastern Dems. Washington is the court. “Flyover country” is for the serfs. But boy, those serfs had better keep paying their taxes–or else.
(From New York Magazine)
Leibovich updates the story of the tacky prehistory of the Obama White House with its aftermath—the steady parade of Obama alumni who traded change we can believe in for cash on the barrelhead as soon as they left public service. The starry list includes, among many others, Peter Orszag (director of the White House’s Office of Management and Budget, now at Citi), Jake Siewert (the Treasury Department counselor turned chief flack for Goldman Sachs), and David Plouffe (the campaign manager and senior presidential adviser who did consulting for Boeing and General Electric). In a class by herself is Anita Dunn, the former White House communications director “who was instrumental in helping Michelle Obama set up her ‘Let’s Move!’ program to stop obesity in children”: She signed on as a consultant with “food manufacturers and media firms to block restrictions on commercials for sugary foods targeting children.”