Friday, August 08, 2008

"they should be working to make all citizens more political"

Nafzblog writes about the flip side of the Monica Goodling effect:

In 1992, after the Clinton election, I flew to Washington D.C. with Governor Booth Gardner who met with four western governors to discuss cabinet posts with Clinton's transition team. Cecil Andrus, Carter Interior Secretary and Governor of Idaho described his frustration in trying to set out a new direction for Interior upon Carter's election. Every turn or change was thwarted and opposed by the internal bureaucrats. He skillfully laid out the need to root out the embedded Interior bureaucracy that had thrived under 12 years of Republican rule. Bush, facing the same problem after 8 years of Democratic rule met the same charge of "politicizing" government.

While Washington is considered by virtually every governing organization or magazine as one of the top three best managed states, Rossi has a point when he says the same people have ruled Washington's state government for 25 years. As one of those Democratic insiders, I often wonder why new ideas and approaches are so easily ignored.

Much of the media and good government crowd have spent a lot of time trying to exorcise politics from governing. Instead, they should be working to make all citizens more political. Only through elections and politics is there ever any semblance of changes, creativity, checks and balances.

I wish there was more of a "lay all the cards on the table" sort of attitude towards politics. That, instead of avoiding it as a topic and trying to remove it because its an uncomfortable topic, accept it because it is an important topic. Accept others' ideas and don't let them become enemies because you disagree with them.

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