Change that doesn't manage to stand out.

>> Wednesday, December 3, 2008

A number of things "standout" to me this post-election Christmas season. The love affair media has with Barack is only beginning to come to full bloom, if that-- I suspect this affair will continue for months if not years. After all, they managed to elect the man they wanted, and they continue to refuse to hold him accountable. Not a newsflash. They act like a codependent battered wife.

Where is the change? A Clinton, and many of 42's staff and advisers have joined the Obama team. Doesn't look like "Change" to me. All the dead and lifeless wood, fit only for the bonfire of democratic vanity, is front and center once more. No real change.

But what stands out?

One single word. A descriptive word. A word used to excuse the president-elect of failing to bring promised change...

Pragmatist

Obama, apparently, is smart enough to know what he has to do, rather than what he has promised to do. And the media is making excuses, consciously or otherwise. They deflected any and all substantive vetting of Barack during the campaign. Now they make excuses after the damage is done.

We needn't worry, however. It IS change. Just not the kind he intimated. He is doing exactly what he asserted McCain would do-- giving us four more years of the failed policies of the past.

But remember, he's a pragmatist. Let that comfort you. We should all feel some measure of comfort in that.

16 comments:

Feodor December 3, 2008 at 12:59 PM  

Exactly right.

Scraping from the top of the barrel should be criticized. Refusing to appoint only from loyalists is dangerous. Leadership from experience is overrated.

All of these are lessons Eric has paid especially sharp attention to in the last eight years.

This kind of change will not stand out... until 2011 when they will have led us in to economic recovery, exceptional global standing and increased peace, universal health care, quality education environments and opportunities, and a Justice Department that doesn't f*ck with justice.

And then, on a minor note, there are women and people of color populating the chairs in the cabinet room.

From the Wall Street Journal:

"For the rainbow cabinet of the nation's first African American president, Mary Beth Maxwell is the perfect labor secretary you've probably never heard of: a gay woman, community organizer and labor leader with an adopted African American son. And this founding executive director of American Rights at Work is about to get the full-court press."

Dan Trabue December 3, 2008 at 1:39 PM  

So, are your fears of Obama being a socialist and socializing the US alleviating a bit? Might all that have been a bit of an over-reaction?

For my part, I have recognized that Obama is a centrist and would be likely leading a centrist-style gov't - albeit far from the Rightwing Neocons that Bush mostly represented - so I'm not especially surprised or even disappointed.

It's not exactly the direction I'd go in, but I'm willing to give him some room for getting started before heaping too much criticism on him - just as I did for Bush. If and when Obama's policies start going south, I'll start criticizing the specific policies for specific reasons. I'll withhold most of my cynicism and criticism in the meantime.

Al-Ozarka December 3, 2008 at 2:57 PM  

"And then, on a minor note, there are women and people of color populating the chairs in the cabinet room."

That ain't nothin' new, Feodork. Did you happen to take a look at Bush's cabinet?

Oh yeah...they were all "Uncle Toms".

Your hypocrisy is hilarious.

Feodor December 3, 2008 at 3:17 PM  

Not Uncle Toms. Those are your words.

Wall Street Journal's words: "rainbow cabinet."

My words: bottom of the barrel loyalists to a President unprepared for war. Except for Colin Powell. And you see where his vote went.

Obama is nominating 3 women and 4 minorities. Bush's first term nominated 4 women and 4 minorities. Obama is only halfway into picking his cabinet. How empty are all your boasts.

Avoiding the major note as usual, Izard. You're idiocy is tear jerking.

Feodor December 3, 2008 at 8:15 PM  

Obama has now put three former candidates for President in his cabinet.

Who has ever done that? Do you see Huckabee, Romney and Brownback working under McCain? Never happen because they cannot agree on anything.

And now, Gates, the Defense Minister, was doubtful and resistant. But then he was so impressed with Obama that he felt he had to serve. And now he is in agreement that troops will get out of Iraq in 16 months.

So, Eric, you have to say either things have gotten so bad under the guy you voted for twice that Democrats can be historically unified like never before OR Obama has to have some cohones to lead such a power house of powerhouses.

As for me, I am fine with saying both.

Marshall Art December 4, 2008 at 12:19 AM  

"Do you see Huckabee, Romney and Brownback working under McCain?"

No, but I see Dems doing anything to rise closer to the top. Not surprising in the least that position trumps principle, if they have any.

As to Barry's picks, they don't compel me to believe anything yet. He could still push a socialist agenda. These picks aren't necessarily against the types of failed policies Obama hopes to foist upon us. Which ones don't believe in universal health care, for example? Which ones think the free market is better suited to "fix" the current economic situation? All they need is a couple of wishy-washy Republicans from the House and Senate to cave and they'll have their majorities.

But I couldn't go without highlighting this hilarious fantasy:

"...when they will have led us in to economic recovery, exceptional global standing and increased peace, universal health care, quality education environments and opportunities, and a Justice Department that doesn't f*ck with justice."

They'll have to get mighty conservative to lead us into economic recovery. Lib policies have never done that. Global standing of the type over which libs tingle is worthless and dangerous and doesn't bring about peace at all. Universal health care will further confound their weak attempts at fixing the economy and at the same time begin to hurt more than help people needing medical care. And the liberals' track record in improving education is about as sorry as can be. Barry's community organizing never improved Chicago schools one iota. The meaning of the DoJ stuff is a mystery.

Erudite Redneck December 5, 2008 at 9:34 PM  

I think one thing lots of people never got is that getting the Republican Party out of the White House, and tamped down in Congress, is change enough for now.

Marshall Art December 6, 2008 at 12:15 AM  

The best change would have been getting them to act more like Republicans.

Dan Trabue December 7, 2008 at 5:30 PM  

Which Republicans ought they be acting like?

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford December 7, 2008 at 9:18 PM  

Marshall, I have a question your initial response to Feodor prompts - do you believe the economy is heading form recession to far darker territory? Do you believe that, if this is so, there is a role for the state to make the bounce at the bottom a wee bit softer, as it were? I'm not trying to be snarky here, because your statement seems to indicate that you do not, in fact, believe the economy is swirling in the bowl, with quite a bit of it already past the u-bend.

Eric December 7, 2008 at 10:51 PM  

I "believe the economy is swirling in the bowl, with quite a bit of it already past the u-bend." And quite frankly I'm not sure all these bailouts will do anything but dig us deeper into the hole.

Marshall Art December 8, 2008 at 1:19 AM  

I tend to agree with Eric. In our current "crisis", the government had much to do with bringing it on. Why should I believe they're capable of making it better? And the people about to take over in January are of the same general feeling about these things as those who got this ball of sh*t rolling down the hill in the first place.

So, any belief that we are headed into darker territory is predicated upon the belief that the new administration will want to "fix" it. If they stay out of it, we'll move a bit in that darker direction, but I don't think we'll need to turn the lights on.

Just so's I'm not said to be merely criticizing the new admin, I also believe the current admin should back off as well.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford December 8, 2008 at 3:51 PM  

First, it is nice to see that I actually agree with a couple points Eric and Marshall made, although I think that, in terms of specifics, we might disagree. As to the role of bailouts, as Eric noted, at least as they have been done so far, I don't know if they've made a bad situation worse, but they certainly haven't been carried out in ways that boost investor confidence or ease consumer anxieties. I think the current pause as we move toward some action for the auto manufacturers is a good thing, because we might actually get something for our money, rather than stock options in companies that continue to decrease in value.

As to government as the source of our current malaise, couldn't agree more. The entire "ownership society" promoted by Pres. Bush, the Republican Congress' repeal of Depression era banking and financial regulations opened a Pandora's Box, out of which flew all sorts of greed and stupidity. We are living with the results of the belief that human beings, given half a chance, will actually be wise and perspicacious in their collective actions, even if the individual acts are unwise and foolhardy.

Marshall Art December 8, 2008 at 11:10 PM  

Exactly what Depression era banking and financial regulations were repealed by the Bush admin and the Republican Congress? Be specific please.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford December 9, 2008 at 4:31 PM  

Since the Bush Administration - and any Executive Branch - cannot repeal any laws (that whole separation of powers thing), I was referring specifically to a series of bills passed by Republican-controlled Congresses in the late 1990's, and signed in to law by President Clinton (because he knew his veto would be overridden, and preferred not to fight about things like this that no one seemed to care about except people who actually knew stuff) that erased the clear lines between commercial, investment, and consumer banking; between different types of financial institutions (insurance companies, commercial and consumer banks, investment banks, Savings and Loans); and allowed for cross accounting and other dubious financial shenanigans in order to protect the paper-bottom-line of corporations engaging in these practices (that is, if Company A leveraged its assets to invest in, say, various bundled mortgages that were offered as assets rather than what they really were, financial liabilities, the company, which had now screwed itself twice, could make it look like it made a whole lot of money).

These were collectively known as the Glass-Steagall Act, a Depression-era ombnibus banking and financial regulatory scheme that was welcomed by banks, and created a framework that prevented the very meltdown through which we are currently living. It is important to remember that. When S&L's were deregulated in the early 1980's, it took less than half a decade for the entire system to collapse in a heaping mess of corruption and broken dreams. Because Glass-Steagall covered far more territory, it took a bit longer to produce the same effect - about ten years.

Here's the thing. When the proposals concerning the new deregulations were before Congress, the only reason they were presented was so Citibank could acquire a couple insurance companies. Glass-Steagall prevented that purchase. Phil Gramm and a few others saw this as an opportunity to finally get rid of these much-hated (by antiquarian Republicans) bits of legislation. The rest of the financial industry was uneasy at the thought, but they remained silent, because they figured they could make a lot more money, even if the risks were far greater. Many Democrats who opposed repeal were laughed at by Republicans and editorial writers as doomsayers and economic and financial Luddites.

Schadenfreude, at least in this situation, would be unseemly, but you know what? Who cares! Every person who wrote, advocated, and voted against repeal should make sure their voices are heard loud and clear.

This is all off the topic of former Weather Underground member, and hanger-on with the Black Panthers, David Horowitz, asking an inane question.

Unlike some current lefties, I think there is nothing for which any former member of either group should apologize. Considering the relative levels of violence perpetrated by those two groups and the combined crimes of the Johnson and Nixon Administrations, as well as Hoover's FBI (they murdered several Panthers in an illegal raid on a Chicago residence), I think they really have nothing for which to apologize.

Al-Ozarka December 11, 2008 at 2:51 PM  

Tim McVeigh must be turning in his grave.

Go ahead and say it, J-Off!

"I support domestic terrorism."

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Barry Obama : The Young Turk


Young Turk:
Date: 1908
Function: noun
Etymology: Young Turks, a 20th century revolutionary party in Turkey
:an insurgent or a member of an insurgent group especially in a political party : radical; broadly
:one advocating changes within a usually established group.





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