Monday, November 9, 2009

Not So Deep Thoughts

Two people coming out as highly effective politically in the last year are Rahm Emanuel and Nancy Pelosi. Under Pelosi, the House has passed a sweeping stimulus package; a cap-and-trade program; and now a Health Care Bill. Emanuel's more behind the scenes, but by all accounts he's the most powerful Chief of Staff in recent memory; with sweeping authority on foreign policy, healthcare, finance reform, and the economic recovery.

Interestingly, people tend to say the same thing about why each is so successful: both are very active in pulling their levers of power and driving forward at a frantic pace. Pelosi has moved to vote on bills where others would have held back, while Emanuel has been very active in pressing his agenda as much as possible.

There's another school of thought that says you should husband your power, as a failed attempt to demonstrate what you have weakens your authority. Pelosi and Emanuel would suggest that your power actually comes from your constant exercise of it.

Obviously, this is going on in the backdrop of a very popular President, a solid Democrat majority in the House, etc. etc. But it makes you wonder about WTF Reid is doing; what are the consequences of legislation at all costs; and whether this is a useful template going forward.

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