Sunday, January 10, 2010

Optimal transparency != 1

I agree with Mickey Kaus in regard to the kerfuffle over Obama's foolish and misguided promise to televise the house/senate conference hearings on health care on C-SPAN. There is actually a literature on "secrecy" in political science and the gist of it is that sometimes secrecy yields better outcomes. More practically, as Kaus notes, putting the conference hearings on C-SPAN would simply mean that the action of interest would happen somewhere else.

Obama should not have made this promise, for both political and substantive reasons, but the Republicans do themselves no credit by jumping on it, as they should know better as well.

1 comment:

Scotto said...


I don't doubt your assertion that even if its put on C-Span it would just be for show. But that's not the point. The point is that Obama made this explicit promise 8 (8!!!) times on the campaign trail and this is one of the easier ones to actually follow through on! If he can't hold onto this promise then he can't hold any.