I only have a minute to post. I'm hopefully working a half day today. Like you care. So this guy John DiIulio was on fresh air the other day. He was the first head of Bush's office of faith-based initiatives (similar to his office of hope-based initiatives)-an office which I fervently pray (ha) will be promptly dismantled by the next president. Anyway, this guy seems cool. He's a democrat, he was constantly fighting to give many to many different religious groups, not just evangelicals, etc. Also, he gave one of the most awesome quotes yet about the Bush white house. It got him in some real hot water, but he pretty much stands by it today.
"there is no precedent in any modern White House forwhat is going on in this one: complete lack of a policy apparatus. Besides the tax cut, which was cut and dried during the campaign, and the education bill, which was really a Ted Kennedy bill, the administration has not done much, either in absolute terms or in comparison to previous administrationsat this stage, on domestic policy. What you've got is everything, and I mean everything, being run by the political arm. It's the reign of the Mayberry Machiavellis. [They] consistently talked and acted as if the height of political sophistication consisted in reducing every issue to its simplest black-and-white terms for public consumption, then steering legislative initiatives or policy proposals as far right as possible." The former White House director confides, "I heard many, many staff discussions but not three meaningful, substantive policy discussions. There were no actual policy papers on domestic issues. There were, truth be told, only a couple of people in the West Wing who worried at all about policy substance and analysis ... Every modern presidency moves on the fly, but on social policy and related issues, the lack of even basic policy knowledge, and the only casual interest in knowing more, was somewhat breathtaking: discussions by fairly senior people who meant Medicaid but were talking Medicare;near-instant shifts from discussing any actual policy pros and cons to discussing political communications, media strategy, et cetera ." DiIuliogoes on to tell us that "the remarkably slapdash character of the Office of Homeland Security, with the nine months of arguing that no department was needed, with the sudden, politically timed reversal in June ..."