Wednesday 18 Jul 2018 | 01:35 | SYDNEY
Wednesday 18 Jul 2018 | 01:35 | SYDNEY

On political expertise


Sam Roggeveen


17 September 2008 15:58

As Graeme Dobell illustrated in his post about Peter Costello's dealings with the Defence Department, politics is a profession like any other, and it has to be learnt. That's a sentiment echoed by NY Times columnist David Brooks in his latest piece:

In the current Weekly Standard, Steven Hayward argues that the nation’s founders wanted uncertified citizens to hold the highest offices in the land. They did not believe in a separate class of professional executives. They wanted rough and rooted people like Palin. I would have more sympathy for this view if I hadn’t just lived through the last eight years. For if the Bush administration was anything, it was the anti-establishment attitude put into executive practice.

And the problem with this attitude is that, especially in his first term, it made Bush inept at governance. It turns out that governance, the creation and execution of policy, is hard. It requires acquired skills. Most of all, it requires prudence.