Washington, D.C.: One thing that most threatens the Obama agenda is that the American public still has deep-seeded, but incorrect assumptions about things. Take for example, the idea that the "government should tighten its belt" during a recession, or that the deficit is caused by discretionary spending. How do we break through these assumptions? What can Obama do to change the way people think about things?
Ezra Klein: No idea. This is, in theory, why we have a representational government, rather than a weekly referendum on "things the government is doing." We're supposed to elect folks who study up on this stuff and then make the decisions we would make if we were more informed. Instead, we get hacks who pander to our ignorance because they want to win reelection, or retake the majority, or run for Senate. Or maybe because they're ignorant, too.
From an old post on this blog:
Congresspeople have, as their primary goal, reelection. Ok, so that means that they should be doing what's best for their constituents, and that's not a bad thing, right? Unfortunately, that doesn't always hold. First, they do what's best for the constituents with the most money, not necessarily what's best for all of them. And, as an elected representative, it is your responsibility to look long-term. What is in the best interests of the country going forward? In many cases, that is not in the short-term interests of your district.(I decided against doing a seventh post entitled "Ungovernable." But I'm sure I'll get there.)