“Change” and common sense

(11 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

As many of you know, I am an avid reader of certain blogs; AMERICAblog, Crooks and Liars, Think Progress, TPM, Raw Story, Glenn Greenwald and Balloon Juice.  If I want to find news or commentary of substance, that is where I go to find it.

While I in no way put myself in the same class as those I read, I can also say that it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure something out when the writing is on the wall…


I’m going to start with an excerpt from J. Cole at Balloon Juice who opined on circular firing squads;

At any rate, I don’t think of this as the Democratic circular firing squad. When I think of that, I think of the kind of idiocy we have experienced the last few weeks, when DiFi gets butthurt about Panetta because her ring was not kissed enough and says things that she will have to walk back from in the future. Or when a bunch of people get upset at the number of vaginas in the cabinet and we are told we might as well have elected Rush Limbaugh. Or Rick Warren speaks for 3 minutes at the inauguration and Democrats everywhere shriek that Obama hates gays and some idiots go so far as to cancel their inauguration parties. Or anything Harry Reid has done since November 4th or whenever any jackass anywhere states “That is not the change I voted for” when the man isn’t even in office yet. That sort of nonsense, is to me, at least, the true Democratic circular firing squad. (emphasis mine)

I guess that I am one of those jackasses as I have done two essays on this very subject found here and here.  But, let’s think about this for a minute.  If you were starting up an Anti-Crime Task Force and you picked 3 mob bosses, 2 murderers and a serial rapist to be on your team, should we actually wait to see the results before we can opine about the choices?

Greenwald quotes Digby on the appointments;

None of them are liberals, but then Obama said repeatedly that he wasn’t ideological, that he cared about “what works.” I don’t know why people didn’t believe that. He’s a technocrat who wants to “solve problems” and “change politics.”  The first may actually end up producing the kind of ideological shift liberals desire simply because of the dire set of circumstances greeting the new administration. (Hooray for the new depression!) The second was always an empty fantasy — politics is just another word for human nature, and that hasn’t changed since we were dancing around the fire outside our caves.

The operative words here are “what works” regardless of ideology, though, ideology has played a huge role in showing Americans what doesn’t work.  We’ve already seen Obama’s thought process when it comes to the economy;  Mary Shapiro to head the SEC, Gary Gensler to Chair the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Dan Tarullo to fill an empty seat on the Federal Reserve Board.  

So, my problem?  Shapiro is a retread from Reagan and Clinton.  Gensler is just another Goldman-Sachs leftover brought into government (Henry Paulson, Stephen Friedman, Josh Bolten, Robert Rubin, Jeffery Rueben), and btw, Goldman-Sachs just got a $3 Billion dollar bailout.  As I documented, it has been one retread after another, one Big Business crony after another, while people who foresaw the crisis get largely ignored.  And, if that is Obama’s philosophy on the economy, what does that say about intelligence and defense issues?  We already know that Sec. of Defense Gates has been asked to stay on, at least temporarily.  The “villagers” all loved it.  It provided continuity.  It showed bi-partisanship.  And, it IS temporary, right?  

For those who don’t “get it”, this is not about ideology, it is about the promise for change.  You do not get change by bringing in retreads who had their chance already to do what is right and good for the country and failed.  You do not get change by bringing in more Wall Street cronies so they can follow in the footsteps of the previous Wall Street cronies who failed.

A leader is only as good as the people he surrounds himself to advise and carry out his policies.  Gen. Patton couldn’t have marched into Germany leading an Army of farmers, Elliot Ness couldn’t have fought the mob surrounded by the Keystone Kops, and President Obama isn’t going to be able to save the country surrounded by retreads, Wall Street cronies and those who have failed us before.

I didn’t vote for Obama because he was a Democrat, I vote for him because he promised to bring change to Washington.  Sound familiar?  It should:

During the year and a half that I covered George W. Bush’s 2000 presidential campaign, I must have heard his stump speech a thousand times. The lines changed little over the months, and the ending almost never changed — Bush would raise his hand, as if taking an oath, and promise to restore honor and dignity to the White House.

He also vowed to restore civility to the poisonous atmosphere of the nation’s capital, declaring at a GOP fundraiser in April 2000 that “it’s time to clean up the toxic environment in Washington, D.C.”

A few months later, Bush told voters at a campaign event in Pittsburgh that his administration would “ask not only what is legal but what is right, not what the lawyers allow but what the public deserves.”

The nation has already lived through 8 years of a President who promised one thing and did the exact opposite in every regard, so, you’ll forgive us “jackasses” who aren’t waiting this time to be told, ” now, you can bend over and take it like a good citizen because you were stupid enough to believe me”.

When Bush got selected by the Supreme Court in 2000 to be President, my wife said, “well, the country has gotten what it deserved for voting for him — an oil crook who is going to ruin everything.”  She was right, and, she didn’t even have to wait to see if he’d do it before she called it.  She didn’t even need to see the writing on the wall when he stocked his first administration with oil cronies and idiots.  So, why should we wait now when the appointments by Obama are largely disappointing?

Sure, there has been a few good appointments such as Gen. Shinseki to head the Veterans Administration.  Then balance that appointment with just another Goldman-Sach’s government wannabe.  Hillary Clinton as Sec. of State?  Ok, we’ll see how she does as she cannot be worse than C. Rice.

Or, maybe in the interest of fairness, we should frame this in a way normal people can understand; if a guy pulls out a gun, points it at you, and tells you he’s going to shoot you, are you truly going to stand there while everyone else tries to talk the person down saying, “WAIT… you don’t KNOW he’ll shoot me or not!  Why are you getting so worked up NOW?”  I didn’t think so.


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  1. with Digby:

    The second was always an empty fantasy — politics is just another word for human nature, and that hasn’t changed since we were dancing around the fire outside our caves.

    Nonsense.  Politics is not just another word for “human nature.” (Geez, where do I start? “Politics” has only existed since the invention of empires, and “human nature” is at least 100,000 years old…)

    As for “human nature” not changing, well, what is that supposed to rationalize?  Domination as an essential fact of “human nature”?  People are versatile; they change with the circumstances.  And the circumstances are changing.  

    • dkmich on January 10, 2009 at 18:42

    I don’t trust that Obama will deliver change, and from what I see so far, there is nothing to convince me otherwise.

    All we can do is what we are doing.  Be suspicious and keep yelling for the cops.   Either the cops will come, the danger will get scared away, or we’ll get shot.  

  2. Some very good thoughts!

  3. tells me that the election of Obama means a paradigm shift. And if we don’t shift our approach as a result, we’ll be completely ineffective in seeing the kind of change we’re looking for.

    The fact of the matter is that the vast majority of the American public agrees with what Obama is doing. If we want something different, we’re going to have to make our case well and get others to join us.

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