Obama has said that he will be the President of ALL Americans. As such, he will certainly disappoint. But that's all right. I didn't just award him my vote, I awarded him my trust. My hope is that he is wiser than I, more knowledgeable than I. And I trust him to make the decisions I hope that I would make, if I were wiser and more knowledgeable. I hope Obama's presidency will be as all presidencies should be: constitutional, ethical, transparent, broadly representative and reality-based. Even though each of us are "special interests," he doesn't have to pander to me, he doesn't have to be "black," he just has to represent me. I don't demand a bigger piece of the pie. I may not even GET a piece of the pie. All I ask is that I have a seat at the table.
Archive of Articles for November, 2008
Deep into the interregnum (interpresidentum?... interpresidium?) between the outgoing Bush administration and the incoming Obama administration seems to be a good time to ask: Does this make sense anymore? Why does America wait two-and-a-half months between when we elect our leaders and when we actually let them enter office? And does it make sense to change it?
In the past few weeks, we've heard story after story of corporate excess, often in admonishments toward corporate executives from various congressional committees. CEOs on private planes! Gasp! Outrageous compensation packages and bonuses for executives! Who knew? Posh conferences in luxury resorts! Golly! Taxpayer dollars may pay hundreds of millions in stadium naming rights! Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!
And, by those definitions, the turkeys were flying fast and thick last week. First up was the decision to let Senator Joe Lieberman (CT - Ego Party) remain as chairman of the Homeland Security Committee in the Senate (see definition (a), above). Only 13 Democratic senators voted against Joe, who blackmailed the party by saying if they didn't give him his chairmanship back he would not only bolt to the Republican Party but also vote against Democratic proposals every chance he got. Way to demean your vote, Joe! Nothing like selling your vote in order to prop up your own ego!
Is Hillary Clinton eligible to become Secretary of State? Putting aside the question of what her chances of being appointed actually are (which I wrote about yesterday), is she even legally able to take the job if offered? The answer appears to be a strong "probably."
Basing my reasoning on absolutely no hard facts (which I fully admit up front), here's the scenario that keeps suggesting itself to my addled brain (and which, to my surprise, doesn't seem to have suggested itself to anyone else): during the discussions between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama (which took place between the end of the primary season and when she began campaigning for him), Hillary gets Barack to agree to this sideshow if he gets elected. She will be "offered" Secretary of State, which she will then decline "because there's so much to do in the Senate." But -- and here's the crux of my thinking -- she will gain by this situation by improving her prestige in the Senate and attaining more power than she normally would have (due to her low seniority status).
At 12:39 PM (Alaska time) Democratic challenger Mark Begich led the incumbent (and convicted felon) Senator Ted Stevens by 2,374 votes -- an improvement of over 1,300 votes in today's tally. By my thumbnail estimates, there appear to be just over 10,000 ballots left to count, meaning that Stevens' defeat seems likely at this point.
I mean, it is so fantastical I had to actually laugh at it. Because of course every single right-winger in America who has been using such language will immediately start using the same language about George Bush. All who have called the concept of an American "timetable for withdrawal" as being: downright dangerous, weak, a surrender, cowardly, losing a war to al Qaeda, giving up on the War On Terror, giving the terrorists what they want, a crazy Democratic idea, a dangerously naive idea by [insert name of Democratic politician here], proof that Democrats love to lose wars, proof that Democrats are un-American, anti-American, and blame-America-first -- all of the people who have ever uttered anything of that ilk will of course be intellectually honest and consistent, and will now denounce Bush in exactly the same fierce language as they have used previously. Because to do otherwise would just reveal their monstrous hypocrisy. And of course they will not shirk their duty to do so, since they've been provided with such a shining example of an American leader "caving in to terrorists" and surrendering in the face of the enemy. Of course they'll denounce Bush just as strongly as they have been denouncing others who have espoused such views.
Bush's meeting is going to last six hours. And nobody expects it to come up with anything even close to the same magnitude of what happened in Bretton Woods. Nobody sane, that is. So please, media types, don't call it what it's not. Let's have some truth in advertising here. Call it "Desperate Bush Lame-Duck Photo-Op With World Leaders Who Would Really Rather Be Talking To Obama," if you have to slap a label on it. Because that's a lot closer to what it's going to be.
As I see it, the issue breaks down in a number of ways. The first question is anonymity -- do Americans have an absolute right to anonymity in political messages? The second question is technological -- is anonymity a right, no matter what the medium? And the third question seems to be political, and deal with campaign and election law -- what kinds of rules on speech are constitutionally allowable in politics?