BAD POLICY?….OR NO POLICY?….Brad DeLong, normally a clear-eyed observer of the Bush administration’s self-delusion and electoral cynicism, finds himself surprised today at the extent of the Bush administration’s self-delusion and electoral cynicism:

But we would take comfort from one thing. The fact that Glenn Hubbard was so very careful with his language in response to direct questions….meant that at least internal administration decision making was not being fed misinformation. The misleading was confined to reporters. On the inside, we were sure, Hubbard was telling his political masters and the High Politicians the straight story.

….But now it turns out that we were wrong….it was not just reporters who were being misled by Glenn Hubbard’s giving the short-term deficit answer when he was asked the long-term deficit question. It was George W. Bush and the rest of the White House senior political staff as well.

Things inside the Bush White House are indeed much, much worse than I could possibly have imagined.

I’m surprised at Brad. One of the most telling characteristics of the Bush administration is its almost chilling disdain for policy realities. In the best case they simply ignore policy and in the worst case they act on policy advice that’s obviously wrong ? and that they plainly know is wrong. Actual problem solving is simply not on their radar.

It may be a little unusual to see the kind of firm documentary evidence of this that Brad has dug up here, but that’s the extent of it. The Bush White House cares only about ideology and reelection. Their political calculus goes no further.

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