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January 19, 2009

So Far No Change

Steven R. Berryman

The observable operating philosophy of President-elect Barack Obama thus far comes to us in the form of a television situation comedy, as in an “Obama Knows Best.” It comes off as the blind requirement of our total trust.


So, please, don’t ask.


However, in too many cases it is clear already that the Obama omniscience fails in two critical areas: to properly vet candidates for top administration positions, and to use proper qualifications as a qualification for these jobs!


Whatever happened to concepts such as “the best man for the job,” and “the best and brightest among us?” Why bother to vet if you then obfuscate?


Current errors are especially troubling as they are so fundamental to the game. These would be analogous to off-sides in football, or double dribble in basketball. Hopefully they are not a harbinger this early on, as we “hope,” but…


The blunders include:


*Senator Hillary Clinton spent her entire storehouse of political capital during her husbands first term explaining to America that she was all about healthcare, and had the only correct answers to our dysfunctional medical system.


Let’s make her the secretary of state! Quite the switcheroo; this package comes with all of Bill’s baggage, too…


*Leon Panetta, the career legislator, had a focus on mastery of budgetary issues before becoming Bill Clinton’s White House chief of staff.


Let’s nominate him for CIA director! This in the era when it is widely known that a “human intelligence” (humint) expert is what we desperately need in that community.


*Gov. Janet Napolitano (D) comes to us as nominee for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) from Arizona, where they flunked the secure borders test.


Let’s allow her to foil the “Real ID” system recommended by the 9/11 Commission, as it’s too expensive. How expensive have our open borders been already?


*Gov. Bill Richardson (D., New Mexico) was eminently qualified…for almost any slot in the Obama administration he wanted.


How ironic that we had that qualifications part right, and then found out after the fact that excess baggage would probably not allow a confirmation. Pity, as the Hispanic community had a representative in him as well. But…


*Cecilia Muñoz will liaise between the White House and state & local governments. She’s a past executive vice president of The National Council of La Raza.


Forget a matching qualification. What signals are derived from this move? La Raza is a radical organization – as is ACORN – and bodes poorly for a rational approach to immigration law reform. It’s more of a “cave-in than compromise.”


*Timothy Geithner would be your treasury secretary if confirmed, completely discrediting any semblance of a vetting process.


The man that would have total and unfettered control of the billions of dollars of your bailout funds…has not seen fit to pay $35,000 in his own taxes going back six years, even after a two years’ aged IRS notification. Only upon nomination did he just pay up.


Perhaps laws are for the “other guys.”


If only we had a “chief performance officer” to get us through this madness…Bet he gets fully checked out, too!


We don’t always “get what we pay for” after an election, where promises are free for the making. And who could forget that George W. Bush ran on a platform of “I am not a nation builder” in his winning pre-9/11 campaign effort?


And to make it worse, all bets are off the table now due to the collective expecting of our new president to follow through on campaign pledges and promises, based on many a speech, and a confirming and conforming adoring media tidal wave…


But this was before the National Financial Meltdown of 2008, which now, all at once, both authorizes and excuses anything.


So, don’t put too much stock into this “change” thing; Hitler “changed” Germany, but not without the will of his people, and not for the better. Change must have a direction, and many, many strings attached!


As opposed to our TARP Rescue Fund!


For those awaiting the salvation that comes with Inauguration 2009, I would admonish you that:


Sometimes the wanting is better than the having, or:


According to the famous German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer: “A man's delight in looking forward to and hoping for some particular satisfaction is a part of the pleasure flowing out of it, enjoyed in advance. But this is afterward deducted, for the more we look forward to anything, the less we enjoy it when it comes.”


Enjoy the day.


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