Critical thinking is back in the White House

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Uncle Joe wants all your information, and no bullshit:

Quick decision-making is not Mr. Biden’s style. His reputation as a plain-speaking politician hides a more complicated truth. Before making up his mind, the president demands hours of detail-laden debate from scores of policy experts, taking everyone around him on what some in the West Wing refer to as his Socratic “journey” before arriving at a conclusion.

Those trips are often difficult for his advisers, who are peppered with sometimes obscure questions. Avoiding Mr. Biden’s ire during one of his decision-making seminars means not only going beyond the vague talking points that he will reject, but also steering clear of responses laced with acronyms or too much policy minutiae, which will prompt an outburst of frustration, often laced with profanity.

The contrast to Trump is stark, and that's a good thing. He didn't want any pesky information, and if it couldn't fit on a post-it note he wouldn't read it. But if you want good policy, it needs to be hashed out in detail. That's how you discover (ahead of time) any potential negative consequences. He should reign in that frustration if possible though, because it could stifle some input that could be critical. But it's early days still, and the sooner his people figure out he's not a blowhard like Trump the better:

On policy issues, Mr. Biden, 78, takes days or weeks to make up his mind as he examines and second-guesses himself and others. It is a method of governing that can feel at odds with the urgency of a country still reeling from a pandemic and an economy struggling to recover. The president is also faced with a slim majority in Congress that could evaporate next year, giving him only months to enact a lasting legacy.

Those closest to him say Mr. Biden is unwilling, or unable, to skip the routine. As a longtime adviser put it: He needs time to process the material so that he feels comfortable selling it to the public. But the approach has its risks, as President Barack Obama found out when his own, sometimes lengthy policy debates led to infighting and extended lobbying, and made his White House feel process driven.

Mr. Biden could fall victim to the same fate, though he has far more experience governing than Mr. Obama did in 2009. So far, the Biden administration has moved quickly to confront the nation’s challenges even as Mr. Biden’s own deliberations can linger, often prompting calls as late as 10:30 or 11 p.m. as he gets ready for the next morning.

Bolding mine, because that is exactly what he needs to be doing. To quote Socrates, "I know nothing except the fact of my ignorance." Biden understands something Trump couldn't (and still can't) grasp: It is your actions that define how intelligent and capable you are, not your words.

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