Wednesday, June 21, 2006
MoDo on big ideas
And she thinks that big ideas too often end up along side good intentions paving the road to Hell.
Big ideas are not enough, because personalities and circumstances intervene. What matters is the bearer of an idea.She may be right.
Bill Clinton had big ideas but short-circuited his presidency when he elevated his chaotic, self-regarding and gluttonous personality to a management style. Al Gore had big ideas but was too neutered by political mercenaries and focus groups to make those ideas compelling. Maybe because she had one idea that was way too big, Hillary has been running away from big ideas as though they're poison.
After 9/11, Dick Cheney transposed his desire to expand executive power and his personal paranoia into a national policy. Ron Suskind reports in his new book, "The One Percent Doctrine," that Vice dictated that the war on terror allowed the administration to summarily reject the need for evidence and analysis before action.
Mr. Suskind describes the Cheney doctrine: "Even if there's just a 1 percent chance of the unimaginable coming due, act as if it is a certainty. It's not about 'our analysis,' as Cheney said. It's about 'our response.' ... Justified or not, fact-based or not, 'our response' is what matters. As to 'evidence,' the bar was set so low that the word itself almost didn't apply."
In the hands of the wrong person, big ideas can be terrifying.
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