On Scrapping "Stratcom"

Packer worries that the tight message control of the Obama campaign is having a harmful effect on the Obama administration:

People in the Administration tell me [...] Obama hates “process” stories because they end up focussing on trivial matters of personality. They also say that the White House wants to give the impression that everything flows from the top. This last is the one that troubles me most. Even if such a thing were possible, it isn’t healthy. I’d even say it’s undemocratic. Something as vast and complex as the U.S. government cannot be presented to the public along the same lines as a Presidential campaign. In the endI saw this happen to the Bush Administration in Iraqthe result is that the White House doesn’t seal information in, but, instead, it seals itself off from information. The levers of government eventually stop working because no one in the bureaucracy wants to explain what’s going on for fear of the White House press office, which means the ability to think clearly grows sclerotic.