I prefer Shania Twain: that don’t impress me much.
I’m certainly pleased about the general direction that Obama has taken the federal regulatory agencies. But at the end of the day, the upshot of Judis’ piece is that federal agencies are actually attempting to do their jobs. With all the handwaving in Judis’ piece about Louis Brandeis and Herbert Croly, it really all amounts to rejoicing that the Department of Labor actually believes in the Fair Labor Standards Act and wants to enforce it, and the Environmental Protection Agency is now run by people who are qualified to do so. Oh, and they have better budgets, too.
This is all well and good, but guess what? That what a Democratic administration is supposed to do. It’s the bare minimum. If anything, it says more about the pernicious nihilism of the Republicans that we should sing hallelujahs when the EPA, OSHA etc. are actually doing their jobs.
Oh–and the end of the piece? Where Judis writes a paean of cost-benefit analysis and sings the praises of Cass Sunstein, the director of OIRA? Remember that in a recent book, Sunstein compared the Clean Air Act to a Stalinist 5-year plan. Don’t break out the champagne just yet.