So constructive to have all hands in a major political party poised to highlight & gloat over every glitch in major new gov service.Presumably he's being sarcastic, but you know what? It is constructive! It's absolutely a good thing to have a major political party poised to highlight every glitch in what government is up to. Not so much the gloating, but that's not doing any harm. The highlighting is definitely a good thing. One of the strong points of the two-party system is that it leaves an out party with every incentive to identify everything that's going wrong. Not just in government, but in the nation as a whole.
The problem isn't highlighting the glitches, or even gloating about them. The problem is that the current radical GOP is actively opposed to fixing ACA problems, to the point of obstructing attempted fixes. That's a problem. But it's also not normal at all. A healthy party would either promote fixes in order to get more mileage out of their claim that the administration botched thing, or at the very least use glitches and needed fixes as an opportunity to get its own policies adopted. Flat-out rejectionism is definitely a problem, but it only comes up because the normal party incentives of winning elections and enacting public policy don't seem to be working as well as they should for the radical GOP.
But seeking out poor public policy and calling attention to it? That's extremely healthy for the system.
But glitches and needed fixes do not in and of themselves indicate poor policy. They are a normal part of policy implementation, whether the policy eventually proves successful or not.ReplyDelete
Of course it's likely that the major glitches indicated a massive planning and administrative failure, and Obamacare critics of all parties have been right to highlight that.
But that's not generally what conservative critics are pushing. In addition to blaming Obamacare for everything bad under the sun, as you noted, they are jumping on every glitch and delay as evidence that the policy is fatally flawed. And that's just not correct or necessary. The evidence for success or failure will come sooner than we think. The GOP is scared that the evidence will be positive, on balance, and so they are intent on blowing up every stumble into a death throe. That's not "in the nature of the thing." It's cynical, twisted contempt for governing. And contempt for the president.
But from my point of view...Delete
No one really knows what is good policy plus glitches and what is bad policy. What an out party does, when it aggressively points out whatever it can, is to put the pressure on the exec branch to get things right, and on the White House to turn up the heat on the exec branch in order for things to go right.
That's true even if some of what the out party says isn't true at all.
Because all anyone has is bits and pieces of the whole thing -- that's true for the out party, the White House, the exec branch bureaucrats, the press, the people living with the policy. What makes it relatively less true (and, therefore, more likely that more things will go right), is our old friend Energy in the Executive. And that's generated from having to deal with complaints. Even, to a large extend, invalid ones.
But it's also not normal at all. A healthy party would either promote fixes in order to get more mileage out of their claim that the administration botched thing, or at the very least use glitches and needed fixes as an opportunity to get its own policies adopted. Flat-out rejectionism is definitely a problem, but it only comes up because the normal party incentives of winning elections and enacting public policy don't seem to be working as well as they should for the radical GOP.ReplyDelete
And Madisonians explain this how, again?
You know what I think, here: the GOP is broken for a few big picture reasons, and that those things could happen in lots of systems and would be equally or even more dangerous.Delete
Yes, OK, and not to belabor it, but it seems to me that this, and not any given policy, may be the great political question of our era. We're in the middle of a big natural experiment: If the dysfunction persists or gets worse in the US while "normal" politics continues elsewhere in the West, then I'd say that claims like these are in trouble. On the other hand, if a far-right party actually wins governing power in another advanced nation, and/or if the incentives kick in again and begin to correct the dysfunction here, then the "presidentialists" will be at least somewhat vindicated. May-y-y-be the latter scenario is what we're finally seeing begin to happen with Boehner's recent attacks on the conservative pressure groups.Delete
I convoluted my response to the previous post with my response to this one, so I'll repeat and refine it: The GOP is poisoning the discourse with big lies, while also gloating over glitches, which negates their credibility on the glitches. In combination they are wholly negative. But I'm totally with JB on what could be the good politics of pointing out glitches and taking credit for fixing them. They've abandoned that possibility. Good government doesn't inspire the hate and fear that leads people (including those who can't actually afford it) to send them money.ReplyDelete
But I don't know enough about the history of Social Security say to know whether this poisonous obstruction is unprecedented. It seems so in my lifetime. I do know that the Rs made outrageous and false claims about Social Security against FDR after it was passed.
I'm not sure they really are working against their own incentives.ReplyDelete
Don't they have an incentive to try to make the ACA fail spectacularly? As long as a Democrat is in the White House, Democrats will take most of the blame.
Partisan Democrats and Republicans will just blame the other side for any problems with the ACA, and swing voters will see both sides blaming the other, and they won't be informed enough to really know who is to blame. If they decide to blame anyone, it'd be the White House.
Where's the investigation over the downing of the Bolivian Diplomatic plane?ReplyDelete
Where's the investigation of the FISA court?
No, it's not helpful to have a party so entrenched in nit picking without actually bothering to investigate anything that actually did happen.
Or fix anything.
I see. Your pet causes are important, the causes that the people actually, you know, voted on are nits to pick.Delete
Good chat. Now I know to ignore you.
Actually, if we got rid of Madisonianism this process would work better. Opposition parties would still identify glitches, but would also have an incentive to moderate their views as to replacement policies, get elected, and tweak the policies rather than screw them up.ReplyDelete
Whereas under Madison's idiocy, we get the first part (sometimes! Other times, as in Israel and Cuba policy, we don't), but not the second, because a party standing in total opposition has enough dumb Madisonian veto points to screw up public policy and doesn't need to win an election.