Perhaps process issues are not the most important elements in the current presidential election campaign -- after all, there's the war, national security, health care, trade, the economy.
And yet both campaigns are now promising to bring REFORM to Washington and its politics.
Barack Obama has argued from the beginning that the path to reform and national unity is to be found in deliberation and compromise.
John McCain and Sarah Palin also claim to be on the warpath to reform.
It seems to me that the sort of faith-based certainties, cronyism, and secrecy that are so characteristic of the McCain-Palin ticket make reform unlikely if not impossible. Genuine reform can only come from government transparency, with reasoned deliberation among a wide group of differing views, and with an active and open process to recruit competent civil servants.
These qualities are notably missing in the McCain campaign and in the record of Sarah Palin as a mayor and as governor of Alaska.
We do need reform, but we won't get it with faith-based (and gut-based) decisions, secrecy, and cronyism.
Jo Becker, Peter S. Goodman and Michael Powell, "Once Elected, Palin Hired Friends and Lashed Foes," New York Times, 14 September 2008.