Daley FAIL: What it means

Mickey Kaus Columnist
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Obama chief of staff William Daley “relinquishes some duties“? Sounds like he has virtually no duties left at all. Three points: 1) Reminds me of the L.A. Times’ management style–don’t fire anyone. Just promote them and tell the person you bring in under them to do their job that they are just a figurehead. Usually a recipe for trouble. Either someone won’t realize “chief of staff” is now a hollow title–or else everyone will realize it. Awkward either way. Why not just make Daley “counselor to the President”? 2) Daley’s demotion is being taken as a sign that Obama’s tack to the center (after the 2010 shellacking) failed. It’s more a sign of how typically plodding, conventional and sterile Obama’s idea of a tack to the center was. Jonathan Chait may be right that it was common within the DC elite to think Obama’s problem had been “excessive partisanship, liberalism in general, and hostility to business in particular.” But only within that DC elite is cozying up to business and reaching a “grand bargain” with Republicans on the budget the only form of centrism imaginable. You could have a populist centrism that attacked elites in business, on Wall Street, in Washington and in government itself (by cutting spending first, for example, and raising taxes later); 3) Did Daley, as part of “his new role,” really hold a “private reception at his Ritz Carlton residence for a small group of D.C. elites , including … former Fanne Mae Chief Executive Jim Johnson”? At this point, shouldn’t having a reception with Jim Johnson be a firing offense, if not an actual crime or grounds for impeachment? Johnson isn’t the sole cause of the global financial meltdown, but he turned Fannie Mae into something that was at least one significant cause. He’s also the true symbol of insidious business-government (corporatist) alliances, liberal partnership with Wall Street, of respectable Democratic greed and (it’s pretty obvious) semi-competence. Also arrogance! And the purchase of influence with charitable and cultural subsidies. … He should be shunned and shamed, not wined and dined. …
Mickey Kaus