Tuesday, February 3, 2009

How much longer can Obama claim "transparency"?

This is getting out of hand.

Slate is running a great article about how Obama has blown a few critical opportunities to demonstrate his dedication to transparency by disclosing troublesome tidbits about some of his nominees. The latest instance, Tom Daschle's back-tax-induced imploding nomination, is truly outrageous as an example of failed transparency.

I have to believe that Obama's team knew about the tax problem before the press did. At the very least, we know that he stood by Daschle even after the information was out. I'm pretty frustrated that Obama decided to play this one close to the chest. I can understand his feeling that political nominees should not have to step down at the first sign of trouble; I also believe that Daschle's nomination probably could have gotten through if he had stuck with it.

But look, when you institute the toughest ethics guidlines the White House has ever had, you can't allow exception after exception in your first few weeks. I was a big proponent of Obama's "it's not about the principle, it's about what works" attitude, but I'm starting to worry that he is so intent on getting the job done that the principles may be left behind.

1 comment:

texts said...

I agree with you. Lets hope this lack of transparency is just due to him getting his feet wet and not a sign that it was all rhetoric during the campaign.