A friend (and fellow Harvard alum) sends a link to what he calls an "excellent" piece by Frank Rich suggesting that Obama's problems are bound up with the values of Harvard. Obama's problem, according to Rich, is that he hasn't Strauss-Kahned a bunch of bankers and added a system called ObamaBanking to ObamaCare.
But his refusal to do so is one of the few areas in which he hasn't succumbed to what I think is a "Harvard" problem.
"Excellent" and "frank rich" are a jarring - even oxymoronic - combination. I don't know that the problem with Obama is that he hasn't perp walked more bankers or presumed to be able to predict and therefore prevent the next financial crisis. The notion that the financial crisis can be readily explained by a "lack of regulation" is not persuasive. There was certainly regulation that could have prevented some of what happened but no one wanted it - particularly not the Democrats and Barney Frank who famously did not want to make a "fetish" out of things like soundness and creditworthiness.
I do think Obama has a Harvard problem but that problem is his overweening intellectual arrogance reflected in the belief that he and people like him can somehow order the health care system from above of remake the economy through cap and trade schemes. The Tea Party movement was a product of revulsion at that. But, of course, Frank Rich shares those particular prejudices.