Skepticism, not trust, is what's required: the hard won lesson of the first year.

Skepticism Is The First Requirement

by digby

Karen Tumulty said something on Washington Week In Review which I think crystallizes the central problem with the first year of the Obama administration:

The reason the president is so exposed on this politically is that the accident happened three weeks after he announced a dramatic expansion of offshore drilling. He said this may open up hundreds of thousands of acres of offshore drilling and one of his arguments was that the technology is so advanced that drilling is a lot safer than it used to be. So I think the president is dismayed, I'm told, that the assurances that he relied upon to make that decision turned out not to be true.

This is the story of his early days, I'm afraid, from trusting Wall Street to the CIA to the Insurance lobby to big oil --- to the Republicans. It's nice to think that these people are all operating in good faith, but unfortunately, it's just not realistic. Skepticism of all the elite institutions, not trust, is what required for successful leadership in this era.

Update: Or, as Bob Herbert said:

These are not Little Lord Fauntleroys who can be trusted to abide by some fanciful honor system.