Karl Rove’s advice for Obama: ‘Dissent must be encouraged.’

Reader’s Digest has solicited advice for President-elect Obama from various public figures, including Karl Rove. His message to Obama:

karl-rove.jpg The top priorities for the Senator who will raise his right hand on January 20, 2009, and say “I do solemnly swear” are obvious: keeping America safe and growing the economy.

Less obvious is how to create a White House where forceful debate can take place. Plain speaking, straight talk, and dissent must be encouraged, with participants thoroughly prepared, ideas offered with deference for opposing views, and colleagues not subjected to self-serving leaks. The power of the Oval Office can cower critics and silence disagreement; the Chief Executive must labor hard to make it a place of debate and vigorous debate.

There has been, of course, very little room for dissent in the Bush administration, where dissenting opinions have been quashed in the interest of politics.