Interconnected Crises? Independently Urgent Emergencies? Whatever It Takes!

David Brooks says Obama is trying to do too much at once. (I agree.) Matt Yglesias says, no, because all these “crises” are interconnected, you see. Ezra Klein chimes in:

I'd make the argument on grounds of simple urgency: If a patient has cancer and heart disease, her doctor doesn't have the luxury of treating only one or the other. 

The “stricken with multiple potentially fatal diseases” metaphor has the virtue of not turning on Matt's weak case for the specific interconnections that would make Obama's gallimaufry of Democratic desirables seem like some kind of coherent, farseeing package. Back in our salad days, the likes of Matt and Ezra mocked this very metaphor when it was rolled out to compare the immense fiscal imbalance of Social Security to the even immenser imbalance of Medicare because Social Security was just fine, and so didn't even count as a scratch. Of course, now we have imminently terminal cancer and heart disease and rickets and gout and apparently also Alzheimers.

Author: Will Wilkinson

Vice President for Research at the Niskanen Center