The high cost of centrism

TruthDig
by E.J. Dionne

02/11/09

The Obama administration keeps having to learn that bland centrism is not pragmatic, it’s not helpful in resolving a big crisis, and it certainly doesn’t buy you any love. Oddly, this week’s good news for the president—in Wednesday’s agreement on a stimulus package—and the bad news teach the same lesson. The bad news came in the almost uniformly negative early reviews of Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner’s bank rescue plan. It didn’t constitute change we can believe in. It was change nobody could understand. For all we know, the plan is, as was once said of Wagner’s music, better than it sounds. Who could be sure, given the vagueness of Geithner’s pronouncements? This is the cost of bland centrism: The plan seemed to be defined more by what it didn’t want to be than by what it actually was, inspired more by a concern with how things look than what actually works...

//www.truthdig.com/report/item/20090211_dionne_pointless_centrism/


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp



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