Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Death of the Politics of Change

Not that any of us expected Barack Obama to be an agent of real reform, but the speed at which he's distanced himself from his supposed platform of "hope and change" is amazing.

Within a day of winning the election, Obama picked ultra-partisan Rahm Emanuel as his chief of staff. In 2006, his message to the Republicans said it all, "Since my kids are gone, I can say it. They can go fuck themselves." Reportedly after Clinton was being investigated, Emanuel stood at a table listing Clinton "betrayers", and jamming the knife into the table after each name, screaming "Dead". Even in the dirty world that is Washington politics, Rahm stands out for his nastiness, for sending rotting fish to his political enemies to make a statement. Both as a Clintonista, and then again as a member of the House, he has been a ruthless, cutthroat advocate for the Democrat party, trying to bury Democrat scandals while overhyping Republican misdeeds. It was under his leadership that the Democrat party rallied around "Cold Cash" Jefferson.

Not to mention, Emanuel was a part of Freddie Mac, one of the government backed agencies that had to be bailed out due to blatant fraud. After leaving the Clinton camp, he had been given this position as a political favor. With Rahm Emanuel's support of the ultra-corrupt Richard Daley, he has helped continue the corrupt "Chicago machine, shaming donors into giving more money and getting his seat as a political kickback, tit for tat. Some have even charged that Daley helped bully Emanuel into power. "The mayor brought out the pay rollers to make sure that Emanuel steamrolled his opposition. I happen to live in the district and I remember the fellows on the sidewalks outside the polling places on Election Day. Beefy boys with thick necks and fat bellies, they passed out palm cards that pretty much said, 'Vote for Emanuel -- or else!'"

Politics of change? Hardly. Emanuel is the epitomy of what everyone hates about Washington.

To be fair, Emanuel could've been a nod to the party, a way to shore up support among the left. Either way he was a poor choice. But in the week he's been in power, it was hardly his only one.

Obama has been strongly considering Robert Kennedy Jr. for the EPA. He has called reporters Glenn Beck and John Stossel who disagree with global warming "corporate toadies." They are "committing treason. They are traitors." He accuses anyone who disagrees with him of being a "paid representative for the oil industries." He has repeatedly demonized those who are in favor of repealing the ban on DDT as "collaborate in drafting legislation to dismantle federal health, safety and environmental laws." For
years, Kennedy blamed Mercury for an increase in autism, citing any study that showed ANY negative effect for mercury. Whether it was narcolepsy or insomnia, autism or ADD, retardation or superhuman intelligence, the study went into a massive pile meant to overwhelm people with more evidence than they could ever go through.

Kennedy is hardly a bi-partisan guy. He's the type who screams fascist, traitor, or murderer at any who even questions (they don't even have to disagree) his narrative. In short he's the kind of guy who the left have been complaining about for years...but he's OK, because he's on their side. Politics of change? Not even close. Kennedy is another partisan hack, as extreme as you get. Not the type to build bridges across the aisle that Obama promises he'll be.

And the hits keep coming. No sooner had the leaks about Kennedy surfaced than it was learned Obama was considering Jamie Gorelick for Attorney General. Gorelick is the poster child for corruption and cronyism, and, if appointed, stands as a rebuke to every promise Obama made in his campaign to "fix Washington". Gorelick has been blamed, unfairly or not, for creating the wall of seperation between FBI and CIA during her role as Deputy Attorney General, which some have charged enabled 9/11. Whether true or not, such involvement should've precluded Gorelick's inclusion in the 9/11 commission. Yet she covered up any involvement of her own while on the committee. Including it's original intention of shielding the Clinton administration from investigation into illegal campaign contributions. Despite having absolutely no financial experience, Gorelick was appointed Vice Chair of Fannie Mae. The financial dealings of Fannie are extremely hard to understand, but the books were extremely cooked. How much of a hand Gorelick had in it, and how extensively she worked with Franklin Raines (another Obama advisor) is hard to tell, but it's not believable that she had no role in the widespread fraud and corruption of Fannie Mae. While Republicans were trying to reform the two government backed industries, Gorelick lied to the American people about the stability of Fannie. Then she walked away, right before a major accounting scandal, with 800 thousand obscenely bulging her pockets. Her overall earnings were 24 million. (17) While many complain about CEO bonuses, ironically, her name never comes up.

To most Americans, it might sound insane that someone with a direct role in the collapse of the housing market, which threatens to kill our economy, would be rewarded. Yet that's exactly what's happening here, as Barack wants to make her one of the most powerful women in the world, after her incompetant and downright criminal actions in the past.

Kent Conrad has also been tapped to have a position. This despite his own set of problems, being involved with Countrywide Mortgages scandal. In return for a special VIP loan, Conrad, along with Chris Dodd, steered a lot of taxpayer money to the corrupt organization. He also backed the bailout bill which partially went to Countrywide.

If that wasn’t enough, as Joe Lieberman fights to keep his committee chair against the Democrat party, angered that he backed John McCain, Obama has kept mum. Is this the spirit of cooperation Obama has promised? Refusing to stand up for a fellow Democrat who simply disagrees on Iraq and Israel? What hope do actual opponents have of hearing
their voice heard by Obama if he won’t even reach out to a man who votes with him about 75-85% of the time?

Refusing to reach out to moderates in his own party? Rejection of those who disagree? Surrounding himself with incompetents, cronies and partisans? He promised us a brand new kind of politics, and instead we get a rehash of the cronyism and corruption of the Clinton years, mixed with the blind partisanship of the far left Pelosi-Reed wing party of the past 8 years. I doubt any of us actually bought into all his promises of hope and change, but I, for one, at least expected him to keep up appearances until he got into office.

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