I speak almost entirely unencumbered by knowledge: I know about as little about the editorial board of the Harvard Law Review as I do about the little men who come out of saucers at Roswell. But I think I have a rough idea (of the board, not the saucers): a lot of extremely bright and talented people pouring a lot of energy into promoting their private vision and positioning themselves against others doing the same thing. The result is a work product that is formidable in many ways, perhaps brilliant, but not something easy to evaluate or even to understand.
Don't misunderstand: in many ways I take this to be an improvement over the Animal House of the Clinton years or the cheerless button-down superficiality of the previous incumbent. But however well it works in Cambridge, it's hard for me see how it can work well in the nation as a whole.
So far, I'd have to concede that the evidence is against me. Per Charlie Cook, I see that Gallup still gives him a 67 percent approval on how he is handling the economy.
But a bit down the road--
- His "plan" (if that is what it is) won't have worked.
- The voters won't undertand it; but
- They'll have the impression that a lot of people are getting money while they are not.
There's another aspect to the law review model. Again unencumbered by knowledge, my guess is that Harvard, Obama's role was to be the eye in the hurricane, the calm center while all the high-maintenance thoroughbreds raged around him. That probably worked at Harvard: one way or another, the journal got out anyway, and the kiddies went on to have and fortune with a vague sense of good will about the guy who kept the temperature down. But the United States is not the law review any more than--perhaps even less than?--it was Animal House.
Attempt-at-Clarification Footnote: I'm already getting flac from friends who say I want him to fail. Exactly the opposite is the case. I desperately want him to succeed, perphaps not least because I am a nervous Nellie and I seem to be more alarmed than most people at the potential costs of failure, in politics and in the polity. And we're not even close to done yet (how long did FDR chasing the wild hare of the NRA before he finally got his mojo)? But it's not a pleasant day; cf link.