Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Hypocrisy Hunting in the New Obama Cabinet

Undercutting New Possibilities With Old Ideas? 68

The predictable complaints of hypocrisy, or at least, inconsistency, are now rolling in from any ambitious pundit with a microphone. How could such an idealist as Barrack Obama, that is, someone so highly dedicated to changing the government, announce that he intended to do business with Tom Daschle, Hillary Clinton or even John McCain?

By “do business” we mean “give authority and trust.”

The neo-con purists (yes, they still imagine themselves purists after all the soiled things their man committed in the last two terms...) claim that Clinton Cabinet politicos contaminate Obama’s claim to the “high road.” Other hungry commentators dredge relentlessly for contradictions in past positions to compare with what they present as present positions required to fill Obama’s government and support his political philosophy.

Let’s indulge in a fable at this point.

You are a remarkably progressive and idealistic King in a medieval country. You set out to rectify some grave injustices by a military campaign. When it’s time to select generals to conduct this thing you seem to have two choices.

On one side, there is the Abbot, your spiritual advisor, a man with unshakably good, decent ideas about how to improve matters. On the other side, there is General Smith, a ruthlessly successful medieval military strategist with a checkered history of brutality and effectiveness.

If you intend to prevail in this struggle, that is, if you intend to over power the rather impressive and well established enemy who has sponsored these atrocities you find so deplorable, you will select General Smith. Issues such as collateral damage and war crimes associated with the Abbot might be much more palatable than the likely results of General Smith’s campaign, but the results would probably be disappointing.

If you are determined to prevail and advance your cause of decency, General Smith will be your man. First, the war must be won, then your plans can become material. In the meantime, that is, during the conduct of the war, you can insist that General Smith be more decent than he would be normally or than he has been previously, but the necessity of results dictates that you employ his expertise to deliver the possibility of conditions for your own intention.

This progressive King is more armored by his Divine Right than the trust of those who might ultimately benefit from his ideals, but, unlike recent leaders, he will have to trust himself! We have no King. Obama is armored by the trust of those who sent him into this difficult place. His leadership is qualified by his spiritual solidity of trusting himself.

Obama needs a cabinet capable of surviving the inevitable, paralytic aggression of the Republicans. He needs a cabinet which can deliver in Washington politics. The work of these mindless reactionaries has left us a disaster so grave that excuses or near victories, especially when precipitated by the stupid, inexperienced or ineffective application of power, are not an option.

Yes, incorporating individuals with alternative political philosophies may help a little, but the reactionary forces, inflamed as usual by the low road sabotage of hate radio and anti-American Congressional throw backs, have no interest in any solution to our difficult problems. Their cynical interests have nothing to do with America’s future. The entire focus of their babble is directed at maximizing the number of voters in their districts that can they deceive, lie to or frighten into sustaining their offices, reinvigorating their opportunities for looting.

Obama’s ideals will, in fact, make the difference we need. Ideals belong at the top of the pyramid when the ground level is violently contested by well financed cynics and other criminals. Obama’s “ground war” will be conducted by the best he can find, some of the Clinton legacy and other new, competent faces, the 21st century equivalent of that old King’s General Smith.

We trust his idealism, his cabinet selections, his competence, his intellect and his spirit. These vociferous tantrums are to be expected. Neo-cons are allergic to leadership.

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