Tuesday, November 18, 2008

It's A Good Day To Be A Democrat

Everyone is freaking out. Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State? Joe Lieberman's not gone after what he did? What the fuck?! Change, my ass! I didn't sign up for this shit... Or did I?

Just stop and think about it for a minute.

Barack Obama ran on a message of change. A message of hope. But how can we hope to change if we don't rise above the partisan bickering and political infighting that has ravaged our democratic process for so long? Am I expecting Obama to select John McCain for a cabinet position? No. But I wouldn't be surprised if he did.

For once we chose a politician who is already making good on the promises he made while on the campaign trail, but we've been so used to disingenuousness and disappointment, we don't know how to react. We don't know what to make of this person who does what he said he would do.

Lee Stranahan:

...I don't like Joe Lieberman. I was disgusted by Hillary's campaign. And I couldn't be happier with Obama's decisions.

You see, I took all that talk about new politics seriously. In speech after speech, Obama said we had to move past "the smallness of our politics" and he didn't single out the Republicans. He didn't say the smallness of their politics. The smallness has been in both parties and it's turned our political system into a decades long episode of Crossfire where angry and self-righteous adherents shout at each other across an infinite abyss because they are both totally convinced of the righteousness of their own positions.

With these early pre-Presidential decisions, Obama is showing confidence in the idea that he ran on; that America was ready for not just new policies but for a whole new approach to governing. It's the biggest possible change I can imagine.

It's not just good politics. It isn't some clever move. It's what those better angels Obama kept mentioning look like. No wonder it's confusing to so many people of all ideological stripes.

Bob Cesca:

Seriously, now, it's probably not a good idea to totally lose our shpadoinkle every time an Obama announcement rubs us the wrong way -- at this point, there's no need to turn everything into some kind of spasmodic "he's betraying us!" red alert. Disagreements with the administration are bound to happen, but it's also important to keep an eye on the larger narrative thread. Where's he going with this? What's the strategy? Meanwhile, I can think of a long, long list of Republican crazy to prosecute, too.

So in a word: chill.

Jamison Foser:

...we're likely in for yet another round of media snark about the supposed conflict between campaigning on "change" and then hiring Clinton alums.

This is absurd.

...[T]he suggestion that hiring Clinton administration alums is inconsistent with "change" is dependent upon the belief that the Clinton and Bush administrations were identical. Nonsense.

...If the media chatterers want to claim that Obama isn't making good on his promise of "change," they're going to have to do better than simply pointing to the hiring of Clinton administration alumni.
And on that last point, where do you suppose Obama would pick his cabinet from? Preferably whoever he chose would need the requisite experience for the job they would be asked to do, and when was the last successful Democratic administration again? Oh, yeah, the Clinton Administration. Not to say that he's solely going to pick from old Clintonites. You don't see James Carville and George Stephanopolous running around with the Obama entourage, do you?

Think of it this way: Obama asks Hillary Clinton to be his Secretary of State and the "more of the same" crowd goes ballistic. These same people are saying that Bill Richardson should've been asked. Uh, correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't Bill Richardson work for the Clinton Administration? Is that "more of the same"? Don't fall for the media dictating the narrative, what is change and what is more of the same. The media is looking for ratings and what better way than to create controversy?

A very intelligent friend of mine and I were having a debate on Obama and the choices he's made so far, between the FISA compromise vote, some of his possible staff choices, etcetera, but on this particular day he was angry about the extensive application form that you'd have to fill out in order to be considered for an interview for a place on the Obama staff. After a spirited talk, he said, "I guess I've been against something for so long, I'm having a hard time and forgotten what it's like to be for something."

And that's it in a nutshell - there will be disappointments along the way as Barack Obama plays more towards the center than we'd like if his administration is to get anything done. If being an extremist worked, we'd be talking about President-elect Dennis Kucinich (don't get me wrong - I love you, Dennis). But Bob Cesca is right. We need to take a step back, take a deep breath and chill for a bit. Let's try and reserve our judgment at least until the man is in office for a little while.

Adding - and by the way, another reason to be a happy Democrat today? Mark Begich has beaten Ted Stevens in Alaska. Go directly to jail, Ted. Do NOT pass Go. Do not collect $200.

1 comment:

Fraulein said...

I was really pissed when I first heard that Lieberman retained the Homeland Security position but the more I read about this, I've concluded the Obama people figure it's better to keep him in a position where he could potentially be useful. Holy Joe owes Obama big time now, so presumably he'll be asked to step up to the plate and prove his worth sometime soon. We'll see how it turns out...