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View Full Version : Should we bring back the smoke-filled rooms?



Norman Bernstein
05-01-2015, 07:41 AM
Not all reform ends up being an improvement.... this author apparently tries to argue that the machine politics of decades ago was actually good for democracy.

I haven't read the book, so I don't know if there's any merit to this argument, or if it's just a load of BS, but..... interesting thought, at least.


Just published: Political Realism: How Hacks, Machines, Big Money, and Back-Room Deals Can Strengthen American Democracy (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00WNCUMEW/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B00WNCUMEW&linkCode=as2&tag=youwonnowwhat&linkId=3DN2NTWF3R6FUZUG) by Jonathan Rauch.

Amy Walter (http://cookpolitical.com/story/8407): “The first thing we need to do, argues Rauch is to acknowledge that not all reform is good reform. The primary process, for example, was supposed to bring the candidate selection process out of shadows and into light. Smoke-filled rooms of power brokers would be replaced by engaged citizens who picked the candidate best representative of their views. It hasn’t really worked out that way, has it? “

DMillet
05-01-2015, 08:22 AM
I don't know if the rooms are smoke filled or not but NY is still using the "three men in a room" method of governance. I'm not sure I agree with it but I will say stuff does get done. That's in astounding contrast to what happens in DC.

slug
05-01-2015, 08:43 AM
Modern policy making is broken because its always in the media spotlight..... talking heads, opportunistic politicians, special interests feast on it. ... They Pollute , twist and pervert policy before its exposed to the voter for consideration. The voter is then left to consider a train wreck or a policy that pits one party against the other.

close the doors...... assemble social scientists, demographers, economists,philosophers, futurists, buisness leaders, educators , .....and form policy.

once policy direction is formed and logical, hand it to the talking heads, politicians, then ask the voter.

Norman Bernstein
05-01-2015, 08:58 AM
close the doors...... assemble social scientists, demographers, economists,philosophers, futurists, buisness leaders, educators , .....and form policy.

once policy direction is formed and logical, hand it to the talking heads, politicians, then ask the voter.

If that's the way it was done, my guess is that the conservatives wouldn't like the recommendations. Policy is the result of pragmatic and practical considerations, and doesn't (or shouldn't) yield to ideology, so that leaves out a great deal of conservative thought which, when tried as policy, simply doesn't work (one example: abstinence-only education, which has been a profound failure, yet is a cornerstone of conservative social ideology).

Keith Wilson
05-01-2015, 09:12 AM
The problem with technocratic policy is that there's no general agreement on ends. Every policy will benefit some more than others. People will often favor polices which benefit themselves, but which may not be good for everybody else or the country in general. The recent fight over the inheritance tax is a good example.

ahp
05-01-2015, 05:54 PM
Political machines can be very efficient.

Keith Wilson
05-01-2015, 06:13 PM
Political machines can be very efficient.At advancing the interests of whose who run them.

bobbys
05-01-2015, 06:45 PM
What is a DNC smoke filled room?.

Having the Clintons tell them what's up?.

And liking it?.