I'm going to suggest you add another possibility:
(7) Like the stock market, people are reluctant to invest their capital (in this case their time and precious high-level reputations) in what may turn out to be a total train wreck.
The stakes for Team Obama are sky-high here. He can't merely caretake. If he isn't seen as solving some serious problems, he is going to be in serious trouble, and, of course, one of the best ways for the Top Guy to avoid taking personal heat is to shove subordinates over the transom.
Nobody wants to be Obama's "Brownie," called to testify before Congress about his failure to have his crystal ball in good working order. Good people have to balance the chance for high office, high visibility, and a stake in any success against the chance of being part of a high-visibility king-sized screwup.
Unfortunately, the nature of current affairs is such that realistically the best you could probably hope for is to bring things gradually back to an even keel, fending off the worst Pelosi pork-encrusted backscratching madness. That won't get you much applause, honestly. It's what people expect. And the worst you could fear...well, that's pretty bad.
It might be different if the economy was booming along, and you could be part of the new wonderful Free Lunch...er, I mean Health Care For Everybody initiative, Great Society Take 2, et cetera. That at least has the sunny hallmarks of vision, ambition, daring, instead of the dank cheerless odor of just cleaning up a hell of a lot of dirty dishes.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Sinking Ship Dynamics