1. Don't neglect the economic and defense conservatives. One-legged stools have a pretty long history of being toppled.

2. Don't fall for demagoguery. Substance has a distinct style of its own

3. There are 50 American states and over 300 million Americans. Don't be self-selective. They're all "real." Successful and lasting political groups build the biggest tent.

4. Bush is hated for his opacity, partisanship, and hypocrisy. This hatred blinds many to any and all of his actions. Transparency, cooperation, and honesty never corrupt or obscure good policies and good decisions.

5. Be pragmatic. Pragmatists get further and make fewer enemies along the way. That being said, bad policies are far worse than having no policy at all.
6. Short-term greed is bad. Long-term greed is good.

7. Sticking your head in the sand may bring temporary relief, but sooner or later whatever it is catches up.
8. Corruption is a cancer that must be destroyed without hesitation and no matter the short-term cost.
9. A free-market doesn't mean an unfettered one, only one that is transparent and efficient. We should try it out sometime.
10. Don't ever listen to Karl Rove again. Ever. He had his chance.

1 comment:

Ben Wheat said...

On Commandment 4, it's important to note that Bush's opacity wasn't the chief reason he is so reviled by certain segments of our political society. All wartime presidents are "opaque" out of necessity, even the beloved FDR. His problem was that, unlike FDR, he had an abysmal PR team that was incapable of spinning his opacity or throwing the press a bone every now and then as a gesture of good faith. I'm sure the stonewalling was done on Bush's orders.

President Obama will play things just as closely to the chest, but he knows how to charm the press and string them along, and of course they're already in his back pocket. But there's already talk that Obama will go back on his promise and keep Gitmo open, just change the rules governing the facility around a bit. The key to pulling that off will be the right spin, such as "Well Bush was so stingy with details that I didn't know how necessary the facility was until I took office," or "Thanks to the way Bush ran the place, shutting it down is logistically impossible and raises more issues than it solves."

I think what you mean to say is that the appearance of transparency is critical to success rather than actual transparency, especially during wartime.