"Coolidge made a virtue of inaction. 'Give administration a chance to catch up with legislation,' he told his colleagues in the Massachusetts Senate. 'It is much more important to kill bad bills than to pass good ones,' he wrote to his father as early as 1910. Congress always says, 'Do.' Coolidge replied, 'Do not do,' or, at least, 'Do less.' Whereas other presidents made themselves omnipresent, Coolidge held back. At the time, and subsequently, many have deemed the Coolidge method laziness. Upon examination, however, the inaction reflects strength. In politics as in business, it is often harder, after all, not to do. Coolidge is our great refrainer."
From the new biography "Coolidge," by Amity Shlaes.
Were you, like me, struck by the word "administration" in "Give administration a chance to catch up with legislation"? Did you think there was a missing "the" and have to stop and think? We're so used to the entity called "the Administration" that it's hard to see "administration" as the counterpart to "legislation." Or — more disturbing — our go-to word for what the executive branch is "enforcement."