How About a Commission to End Commissions?

My latest for TCS Daily, “How About a Commission to End Commissions?” is up.

Washington is eagerly awaiting the report from the Iraq Study Group, headed by former Bush 41 Secretary of State James Baker and Democratic Congressman Lee Hamilton, to point the way out of the war in Iraq. Sure, there are tens of thousands of years of professional military experience at the Pentagon with every incentive in the world to get things right. But what do they know compared to a bipartisan commission led by such distinguished gentlemen?


With exceedingly rare exceptions, it is ideas, not compromises, which spawn great policy achievements. American Independence was achieved by a group of men willing to risk everything to achieve their vision. Slavery was ended only after a new political party rode that issue to the White House and then fought a war rather than compromise. The major social transformations wrought by the New Deal and the Civil Rights Movement were not the product of bipartisan panels, either, but bold ideas and bitter political fights.

Both parties have think tanks, magazines, and young leaders waiting in the wings to generate these ideas. That’s ultimately much more productive than dusting off Jim Baker and Sam Nunn every few years.

Much more at the link.

FILED UNDER: Congress, Published Elsewhere, , , , , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.