Monday, January 26, 2009

Thank God for Barack's hypocrisies

Arthur Schlesinger Jr, historian, in his book "The Cycles of American History" admonishes leaders of nations who wish to be saintly, instead advises some pragmatism. Well what often passes for pragmatism is in the strictest sense mostly hypocrisy.

Barack Obama often reaches for high sounding idealism and quietly does what is pragmatic, often in the real good interest of the country. By definition hypocritical but could be charitably called "realistic", "pragmatic" etc.

Obama declared, with a haughtiness that is characteristic of self righteous idealistic people, that he has instituted the toughest ethics rules. Yes he did. He expressly prohibited lobbyists from joining his administration especially in the field they lobbied for. Barely two days later he sought an exception to his own rule when he nominated a defense lobbyist as Deputy Defense secretary sending the national media into chortles. Some idealism.

After ranting about wall street greed, CEO malfeasance. Bush's penchant for lax oversight of markets Obama named Timothy Geithner as Secretary of Treasury. Geithner, like the hated Paulson, is a Goldman Sachs alumni and forgot to pay his taxes. Yet another instance that angered his left wing courtiers who were itching for Keynesian left wingers to take over economic policy.

When he was an unknown candidate he signed, in his own hand, a pledge to take public financing if he got the nomination and challenged his republican opponent to do so in the interest of keeping elections away from being dominated by special interest money. By the time he got to his nomination his campaign, had shattered all records of raising money, very laudably done using technology and other usual methods. His opponent John McCain, struggled to raise money and took public financing while reminding Obama of his pledge. Now Obama slithered away giving some very facetious explanations. Not one of his fawning media acolytes cheered. He was roundly condemned.

Barack jeered at Hillary's claims of experience as First lady "what experience, having tea with ambassadors". Then he chose her as his secretary of state precisely because of her experience. A reporter who dared to question it was brusquely ticked of by Obama who beamed a disarming smile attributing those remarks to a heated campaign how quoting it is fun for press. It was no heated remark, it was a much repeated statement by Obama to deflate Hillary's claims. Either he was hypocritical then or he is one now.

While he railed endlessly on the campaign against Bush's handling of Iraq he angered his devotees (thats what they are) greatly by retaining Robert Gates as Secretary of Defense. The icing was inviting Rick Warren to give the invocation prayer. Rick Warren is one of the most hated figures amongst Gays and Lesbians, again a core devotee group of Obama.

Obama loftily decried the false choice between safety and values implying that Bush adopted methods to keep US safe while sacrificing the liberal values of US. What he forgot to mention was that he himself voted yes to wiretap (FISA bill), again angering his left wing worshippers.

After decrying the Clintons as being divisive, being partisan and above all for just being what every politician is, he promptly named Rahm (Rahmbo) Emmanuel, a foul mouthed and vindictive person as Chief of Staff who had served under Clinton, again his worshipper were taken aback. They, in their naivete, had voted for change. Then came John Podesta, another Clintonite, to preside over the transition. A whole phalanx of Ex-Clintonites were chosen finally capped of with Hillary herself. Some change that is. The fig leaf reasoning was "we need experienced guys in these dark days and Clinton was the last creditable Dem to be Prez. The Carterites are too old".

Nobody disagrees with the quality of each of the above decisions, many are great decisions, good for the country. Its the pompous holier-than-thou attitude that gets my goat.

Barack Obama is no saint, he is just a politician and lets thank him for that.

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