Data driven public policy – it is a cherished goal of the post-ideological, bipartisan, totally rationalist America we are supposed to be moving towards. We hear praise in the media for public officials who declare themselves non-ideological and strictly data driven. Beware of such public officials.
A newly released survey of police officers and commanders in New York City reveals that Rudolph Giuliani‘s reputation as a tough law-and-order mayor in the 1990s was built on a foundation of false data. As mayor, Giuliani sent word down the line that crime in the city must be reduced. He wanted statistics to show that crime rates in New York were dropping compared to other cities. According to extensive interviews among police precinct commanders and supervisors in the city, reported in the New York Times on February 6, the police felt considerable pressure from their superiors to alter the crime statistics. When the boss asked for something, they delivered.
The McCain/Palin Campaign, indeed - the whole Republican Convention, made fun of Community Organizers as an important background to the Obama campaign. What this has led to is complaints from thousands of Community Organizers throughout the country. This new ad, for instance:
It has also prompted the creation of web sites like Community Organizers Strike Back. There we find quotes like: "The last thing we need is for Republican officials to mock us on television when we're trying to rebuild the neighborhoods they have destroyed."
The New Republic has a new story up on the Clinton campaign: What Went Wrong, as told through the words of fund raisers, organizers, staffers and advisers.
Before I cherry pick the quotes that best summarize my own explanation, I find it somewhat interesting that there is no mention of the May 2007 memo by Deputy Campaign Director Mike Henry, in which he said that the campaign shouldn't compete in Iowa, instead focusing on New Hampshire and the following states. Henry presciently wrote that
In past presidential campaigns smaller states, like Iowa and New Hampshire, played a more prominent role in securing the nomination. That process was based on the momentum that was created from winning Iowa or New Hampshire. Thirteen of the last 14 major-party nominees have won Iowa, New Hampshire, or both. Senator Clinton's husband is the only exception. But I think this old system is about to collapse and it will happen this year because of the impact of primary elections that are being held on February 5th. ... After assessing this proposal against core elements of our plan, my recommendation is to pull completely out of Iowa and spend the money and Senator Clinton's time on other states. I believe that the changes to and the volatile nature of setting the Democratic nomination calendar has changed the way the nomination will be won in 2008. I believe the "small state first" approach that we are familiar with, that bases winning nomination on momentum is about to be turned on its' head this year. It used to be protected by party rules and the lack of a national primary day. We no longer have either. The party has no leverage to maintain scheduling discipline and we now have a national primary on February 5th with 20 states choosing their nominee on the same day.
What a nice way for Rudy to make his exit and blunt some media coverage of his debacle. According to report from thepage, Giuliani will endorse Mcain tomorrow in Ca. So, will Rudy get the nod as VP? One thing for sure, 9/11 will get a rest now. http://thepage.time.com/
I've been working on a piece concerning the bizarre Washington wish for every to "just get along." In it I note that it is not the Democrats, but the Republicans who fail to compromise. The failure of the media to call out this minority party for their continued obstruction of popular legislation is simply unforgiveable. That piece can be viewed here:
The David Broder's of the world fail to realize the benefits of partisanship. There are debates to be had here, there are issues to be addressed. And if anything, the most troubling aspect of the current Republican party is their continued failure to agree on any empirical reality. Without an objective set of facts with which to debate the issues, the issues become non-negotiable. They won't admit to any objective reality, and therefore, there is little we can do to convince them of our positions, or to even reach a compromise. I have a piece concerning that factor here: