An informed electorate

If I got this right, Bush knowingly lied about his plans to ditch Rumsfeld because an election was looming. The idea, I guess, is that the republic is stronger when voters don’t know what’s going on, or am I missing something?

Another vessel staying the course right onto the rocks. Dang.

Author: Michael O'Hare

Professor of Public Policy at the Goldman School of Public Policy, University of California, Berkeley, Michael O'Hare was raised in New York City and trained at Harvard as an architect and structural engineer. Diverted from an honest career designing buildings by the offer of a job in which he could think about anything he wanted to and spend his time with very smart and curious young people, he fell among economists and such like, and continues to benefit from their generosity with on-the-job social science training. He has followed the process and principles of design into "nonphysical environments" such as production processes in organizations, regulation, and information management and published a variety of research in environmental policy, government policy towards the arts, and management, with special interests in energy, facility siting, information and perceptions in public choice and work environments, and policy design. His current research is focused on transportation biofuels and their effects on global land use, food security, and international trade; regulatory policy in the face of scientific uncertainty; and, after a three-decade hiatus, on NIMBY conflicts afflicting high speed rail right-of-way and nuclear waste disposal sites. He is also a regular writer on pedagogy, especially teaching in professional education, and co-edited the "Curriculum and Case Notes" section of the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management. Between faculty appointments at the MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning and the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, he was director of policy analysis at the Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs. He has had visiting appointments at Università Bocconi in Milan and the National University of Singapore and teaches regularly in the Goldman School's executive (mid-career) programs. At GSPP, O'Hare has taught a studio course in Program and Policy Design, Arts and Cultural Policy, Public Management, the pedagogy course for graduate student instructors, Quantitative Methods, Environmental Policy, and the introduction to public policy for its undergraduate minor, which he supervises. Generally, he considers himself the school's resident expert in any subject in which there is no such thing as real expertise (a recent project concerned the governance and design of California county fairs), but is secure in the distinction of being the only faculty member with a metal lathe in his basement and a 4×5 Ebony view camera. At the moment, he would rather be making something with his hands than writing this blurb.

10 thoughts on “An informed electorate”

  1. It certainly sounds like that's what he said. And if he wanted to avoid announcing a change before the election, he could have done so without categorically saying there'd be none. Competent politicians know how to avoid giving away their hand without lying. The weird thing today was how blandly he acknowledged the misdirection.
    But it's just one more thing: I assume that authoritative reporters will parse his comments very charitably, esp. in the current situation. NBC & ABC have already explained it away.

  2. If he had acknowledged Rummy was leaving before the election, it would have been torpedoed as an election move to save congressional seats.
    Perhaps, Bush had a bit of couth and doing things in an honorable manner for it is better to for Rummy to leave under his own terms than to be forced out by an election cycle.
    Rumsfeld has served this country a long time. Despite your opinion on his actions, he still served.

  3. Ty, Rumsfield has disserved his country far more than he has served it. He told the experts to f*ck off, and disregared their advice. When it was clear to many, if not most, Americans that things were going downhill in Iraq, he 'stayed the course' – the course into the rocks.
    In the end, he was just a dumbf*ck pilot, who didn't understand the reasons for large ground forces.
    Good riddance to rubbish.

  4. Instead of lying, an evasive answer or a simple 'no comment' would have shown some minimal concern for honesty. But what does that have to do with this administration?

  5. Rumsfeld has served this country a long time. Despite your opinion on his actions, he still served.
    You know, I think some folk take that 'service' thing too far.
    Rummy served to enable the ship of state to plow into an iceberg. SFW, that 'Kinggg of the worrrrld' bit.
    His service s*cked. He served without honor.
    Best,
    D

  6. Oops. HTML not enabled here. That first line above should be italicized. I hit 'preview' this time.
    D

  7. Only eight weeks for this Senate to confirm Mr. Gates. It's hard to imagine that the new Senate wouldn't like to cut their teeth on a detailed confirmation hearing for SecDef and it's hard to imagine that they'll get a chance.

  8. I thought his explanation was powerful: he lied because telling the truth would have been inconvenient.

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