Friday, January 09, 2009

Who Is Right?

David Brooks in today's Times is ambivalent about Obama's plans, ending:" Maybe Obama can pull this off, but I have my worries. By this time next year, he’ll either be a great president or a broken one."

I have to agree--one danger Obama faces as a chief administrator is overestimating the capacity of the bureaucracies on which he has to rely. Coming from outside, he (and most other Dems) have attacked the Bush administration for bad decisions and politicizing the bureaucracy. It's logical to jump from that to the idea the bureaucracy is capable, except for its leadership. Government bureaucracy can be capable, but it works best if you ask it to do something it's done before. The completely new is very difficult for any human, much less bureaucrats.

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