As I understand it, the governing strategy of the Obama administration has been simple:
- Rule from the sensible, bipartisan, technocratic, consensus center and pursue good policies.
- Staff your administration with smart centrists--people who are, like me, between weak-tea social democrats and Dewey-Eisenhower-Rockefeller Republicans.
- Try hard to build bipartisan legislative coalitions from the center out.
- But in the end go for bills rather than issues--pass something, rather than drawing a line and urging the people to give you the members of congress you need to pass a good bill.
- Wait for the press corps to recognize that the Republicans are absolutely totally bats--- insane and tell this to the voters.
But this strategy does not seem to be working for three reasons:
- The Republicans are all insane--not just the Republican right, not just the Republican center, but the left wing of the Republican Party as well.
- The press is not cooperating--they continue their "opinions of shape of earth differ" reporting.
- "Consensus" policies on the economy were not "technocratic"--they have left us with a still overmighty and uncurbed financial sector, with 9.7% unemployment, and with an electorate rightly dissatisfied with the management of the economy.
President Obama needs to chart a different course for the country's sake. But what?