On the train last night I overheard a fellow passenger use this term. Apparently one of his friends was so intent on finishing a story he was telling that he didn't notice, or didn't care, that the dirt he was standing in was actually a tomato garden and he was crushing all the tomatoes. He was so singularly focused on his story that he missed what was going on around him. There are plenty of sayings that capture this idea but I liked the story.
It's worth bearing in mind as Congress now turns its attention to climate change and major reforms in the areas of tax, immigration, and health care. Then there's the ongoing credit crunch and the regulations that will inevitably follow. We haven't started talking about foreign policy but the point should be clear.
We are going to be making dramatic changes to our current policy environment. That's great, but we should not rush through changes that may last for decades. Beware of anyone who argues that there's no time for alternative proposals.