There have been some encouraging signs lately – including the decision to call this meeting in the first place – but I’m about done with the whole “Yeah but imagine what would’ve happened under the GOP!!!” shtick. It’s been over a year now and we’re getting a pretty good sense of how these guys operate, and so far they seem content to mail it in. A ham sandwich would’ve been better than Bush, so how ’bout a little less “Take what you can get, bitches” and a little more shooting for something we can actually be proud of?
On Monday, four senior department officials, including Geithner, hosted a two-and-a-half hour conversation with roughly 20 new media reporters and bloggers that covered the waterfront of political and economic issues. The session was conducted on the condition that the officials could only be paraphrased. And, even then, names were not to be attached to the paraphrased quote.
The stipulations caused griping among some attendees. But the message, delivered with candidness, was a telling one, echoed from the Secretary on down. Treasury’s policies should be judged not only based on what progressives ideally wanted from the administration but also based on the alternative — what those policies would have been under a Republican administration. The Obama administration may fall short of the former, Geithner and others acknowledged but the officials argued that what the Republicans want and what the industry is demanding would produce a far gloomier outcome.
Seems like the Obama admin’s master plan is to constantly remind both sides of the debate that it could always be worse. Very inspiring.