Trump son-in-law and senior advisor to the president Jared Kushner has no political or public policy experience, but who cares? He has been tapped to lead the new “American Innovation” office tasked with applying business ideas to solving America’s more intractable problems.
On the new appointment, Kushner told the Washington Post that “the government should be run like a great American company.” We hear that a lot, and for some reason it never works.
According to the article:
President Trump plans to unveil a new White House office on Monday with sweeping authority to overhaul the federal bureaucracy and fulfill key campaign promises — such as reforming care for veterans and fighting opioid addiction — by harvesting ideas from the business world and, potentially, privatizing some government functions.
The White House Office of American Innovation, to be led by Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser, will operate as its own nimble power center within the West Wing and will report directly to Trump. Viewed internally as a SWAT team of strategic consultants, the office will be staffed by former business executives and is designed to infuse fresh thinking into Washington, float above the daily political grind and create a lasting legacy for a president still searching for signature achievements.
So, here’s the point. Typically there are plenty of ideas available to address problems that can be addressed when the political will exists, unless of course the problems really are intractable and the best minds are incapable of making real progress.
But what the health care debacle should show us is that getting things done in Washington is about politics, give and take, lobbying, horse-trading and any number of things that have nothing to do with executives (usually men) who think that big balls and giving orders that are necessarily heeded are all that is required.
Politics requires politics and not the leadership of some boy who looks like he started shaving last week.