I’m interested in Government 2.0 as a route to a more open, collaborative and responsive government using social tools to change an entrenched culture. Longtime readers and offline friends may remember that my first sustained use of social networks was with the Obama campaign, and efforts to stop the first mega-bank bailout. It was on the anti-bailout grassroots effort that I learned about tools like MixedInk for collaborative writing projects, and first harnessed Facebook as an activist channel.
We were successful in getting Obama in, and far less so in impacting the bailout. Today, though, I’m pondering whether the new president and his crew realize the horrible damage they are doing by caving to politics as usual. I understand the politics of pushing Geithner through, but I’m not sure Team Obama understands the incredible damage done to the hopes of moderates who votes for a cleaner people-powered government.
And it’s not just Geithner. It’s Daschle. It’s failure to comply with basic tax laws. It’s more money for banks with guys like Thain in the wings. It’s pay-to-play and revolving door lobbyist officials. It’s $1,400 trash cans and we-know-betters.
(As a friend pointed out, the cost of the Merill-Lynch bonuses Thain rigged would have supported 240,000 middle class jobs. And each layoff increases our deficit because the unemployed need government assistance to subsist.)
But hey, why not! These guys are the best in the world. They’ve earned everything they’ve got and we need them in charge.
Or maybe not. I have a simple proposal. I’ll help run this great country into the ground. I’ll take down a few century-old banks. And I’ll do it for millions less.