Friday, January 8, 2010

Hey Reporters! Is Transparency Hurting Dems?

For more on the good reasons not to have C-SPAN cameras everywhere, see this nice post by Pete Davis.

Meanwhile, one of the reasons that most pols don't bother to practice transparency -- a reason very few people support in the abstract -- is that transparency by the party in power supplies the out-party with ammunition to use against them.  I suspect that there's some evidence out there now about this, but I haven't seen it nailed down...Hey reporters (Steve Benen?  Greg Sargent?  TPM?):  to what extent are actual changes in openness providing stuff that the GOP uses against Obama and Dems in Congress?  I suspect there's a good story there.

For example, how much if any of the the difference in response to the shoe bomber and the underwear bomber was caused (or at least facilitated) by far more information becoming available in the latter case?  I can supply one example: Ben Nelson's goodies for Nebraska would not have been widely known under the DeLay/Frist methods of moving legislation, since under that regime bills and amendments were not posted three days before votes.

As I've said, Barack Obama deserves the hits he's taking for the (foolish) C-SPAN promise he made during the campaign -- but it's also true that this White House, and the Democratic Congresses, are playing by different, more open rules than their Republican predecessors.  With predictable results.  It would be nice, however, to get a bit more detail on it.

1 comment:

  1. Having learned at the same toadstool, I'll just say I agree.

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