Dissent Of The Day

A reader writes:

You wrote:

"If we've learned anything from the debacle of the last six years, it's that managing the government and getting it to do even the most basic tasks competently should not be under-estimated as a task."

No.

If there's one thing we have learned from the debacle of the last six years, it is that the ability to run a tight political campaign has absolutely NOTHING TO DO with the ability to run the government.  Bush's greatest detractors would not deny that he and Rove know how to bulldoze their political opponents; when it comes to running a campaign, they are competent at tasks both basic and advanced.

But we now know that this skill-set is just entirely divorced from the skill-set of running the country. Bush has shown that he has no idea of how to do that, in affairs domestic or international.  And his skill at campaigning has been a positive hindrance to his ability to perform his constitutional tasks.

It would be over-reaction to say that we should look for someone who runs a lousy campaign, in the hopes that they will care more about the country's business than their party's.  But even that would be more accurate than saying that we should closely scrutinize a campaign's efficiency in order to see whether the candidate is competent to govern.