Two days after Barack Obama was inaugurated, I gave him some political advice:
In the run-up to the 2012 Election, President Obama should propose abolishing the [Department of Commerce]. It would be his equivalent of Bill Clintonâ€™s support of school uniforms and V-Chip: small, symbolic gestures that send a sort of cultural signal. You can trust the Democrats to run the government frugally. (One could argue that no Democrat ever wants to send this signal because it reinforces a Republican frame, but I donâ€™t think that thatâ€™s true: even socialists donâ€™t like to waste money). The Gingrich Republicans vowed to eliminate the Department, but as with most conservative beliefs, it was quickly forgotten as soon as the GOP took power. This would be a nice act of political jiujitsu if Obama could do it.
And just this week, he proposed just that!
Now if only he would listen to me on everything else, we could actually get somewhere.