Sunday, February 08, 2009


Like a Virgin

It's not as bad as it looks: I still am mad for Obama. I just wish he hadn't fallen in with the wrong crowd.

I have long bemoaned the culture of celebrity, America's twisted departure from royalty to a bizarre meritocracy. Suddenly, rather than living our lives to their fullest, we allow serious psychic space to the airport tantrums of Lindsey Lohan, child-rearing examples from Madonna, and sermons on green living from Brad and Angelina.

From there it's a short hop to political celebrity, and to the jerks with which the most promising president in recent history has surrounded himself. While he has yet to put Lindsey Lohan into a position of responsibility, he has gone for people who should have headed his list of People To Avoid.

This is nowhere more evident (the Daschle debacle aside) than in the selection of his team of economic advisers. First, a Secretary of the Treasury who doesn't pay his taxes and a former lobbyist as his chief of staff, then the pompous ass from Harvard who was ditched for his many people skills (who can't wait to ignore Paul Volcker, the newest addition), just to show how much he has learned about how to get along.

And where, oh where, is Paul Krugman? His credentials ought to be Good Enough... his Nobel Prize in Economics is barely unpacked from the trip to Stockholm last summer. His Conscience of a Liberal, a bold title in any season, should have space on Obama's shelf, and his voice ought to ring in the Oval Office.

We are seeing too many people who are part of the problem. It's a lot to ask them to be part of the solution, unless the Age of Responsibility has taken the form of hauling a recalcitrant Junior to his cyclone-strewn bedroom: you made the mess; you clean it up. And no dessert till you do!

I was concerned (though too emotional at the time) from inauguration day on, when I spied a picture of Rahm Emmanuel thumbing his nose at someone from the dais. He was probably taking a shot at my beloved Howard Dean, his rival in national party policy, and whom he successfully froze out of any position in the administration, even though Dean'd be great on health care policy, both as a medical doctor and former governor who greatly expanded health care coverage in Vermont. That's the sort of omission we can't afford, even though he and Emmanuel were at loggerheads about the best way to build the party and funnel contributions. (Dean's 50 state strategy is responsible for the Democratic majority we see in Congress, by the way.)

If Obama wants to replicate the Team of Rivals of Lincoln, he should give Dean good breathing space in his administration and tell Emmanuel what to do with his thumb.

I don't give a shit about coats and ties in whatever official locale. An aloha shirt and hiking shorts in the heat of summer are fine by me. A well-insulated leather jacket in February would be hot.

But I don't like the smart-ass hoodlums who are hangin' with my Prez.

You're young, you're brilliant, you're beautiful, and you've got great moves, Barack... but lose these losers.

Lots of folks are really disappointed with so many Clinton-era reruns. Given the fact the last Dem pres before him was Carter.... there are slim pickings in the tried & true beltway circles, but CHANGE is all about not using the retreads (unless they are astoundingly brilliant). There are fresh minds who are experts in their fields that need to be brought into the fold.
These bad picks you refer to - like Daschle & his triple ethics violations- a lobbyist in the pharma field his job would have entailed, a lobbyist in general, and the tax issues gave him a full serving of 3 strikes, you;re out, but yet they tried to push him through.

I thought Dean was in the running for Surgeon General? Maybe Dean does not want in the administration?

They need to break out of the same old players & bring in fresh/new blood.
Dean did talk about dusting off his resume after the election. But the selection of Rahm Emmanuel cut off his access pretty quick.
Rahm is a bully of the highest order just for starters.

I really had hoped Howie would get a spot. bums me out bad that he won't.

Good post m'dear Lulu. Will crosspost it at Sirens ok? ;)
Oh, and I love Paul Krugman.
And that Geitner fellow. What a flipping bad choice!!!!!! Do not even get me started. I think Dean should have been Surgeon General and perhaps Wesley Clark could have been Defense Secretary. What the f--- do we still need Gates around for? And then that moron republican who begged for the job as commerce sect. and then dropped out. Jeesh. It goes on and on. And I do not want to ever hear any kind of Nancy Pelosi speak about war crimes. Barack has left the secret ghost prisons open 'cause we sometimes need to send bad people to scary places and do horrible things to them. I am looking at this with my eyes wide open. Sure, I love Barack Obama, but strongly disagree with some of the decisions he has made.
Miss Lulu, tell you why I'm not concerned about this middle of the road cabinet: I've been on a Jessie Jones kick lately (he did the heavy bailing 70 years ago)What would Jessie do? Jessie hired good people and let them have their head. Not flashy or radical; steady conservative types, leaving Jessie himself to be the "department of wild-ass ideas."
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