Monday, December 1, 2008


Silence has held its icy grip here at Forgotten Prophets Eternal Wellspring of All Political Truth, since the apparent heirship of Obama. I was stunned like a poleaxed heifer. Some sweet talkin' city feller comes tooling down our country road with a line of sweet talk that just swept our farmer's daughter of a country off her feet. I hadn't known that America was a milkmaid. Surprising. But the deed is done, he's deflowered us and there's nothing to be done about it. We're just hoping he'll do the honorable thing.

It almost seems that he will. I don't have an opinion of my own, but the opinion of people I listen to appears to be that Obama is choosing a not-insane cabinet. How very nice that would be. We have our little jokes, of Ayers as Secretary of Homeland Security -- who better to understand terrorist bombers, after all; the Reverend Wright as a greatly empowered UN Ambassador -- we can host all the chickens in the world, after all; Rezco, say, to be the Secretary of the Treasury; um, some other of his outrageous cronies to be in some other important job. You get the point. But the joke's on us. He's not, yet, showing himself to be the kind of ideologue that we would count as idiotic. Huzzah.

Instead we have Gates maintained in Defense, and retired Marine general Jim Jones tapped to be Obama's national security adviser. There's Geitner at the Fed, and former Treasury secretary Larry Summers as Obama's economic counselor, and a monetarist, Christina Romer of UC Berkeley, as head of the Council of Economic Advisers.

Conservatives are not hysterical at these choices. The left however can hardly stand it. This is CHANGE? Maybe the kind panhandlers beg for -- too little and given insincerely. Says Fred Barnes, "Organized labor must be crazed over the selection of Summers. As a believer in the indispensability of global trade, Summers is bound to advise Obama to reject labor's call for limitations on trade, especially during a world financial breakdown. In fact, I suspect he's already urged Obama to go along with 'card check,' labor's latest scheme for unionizing workers, but not the protectionist agenda. Tinkering with trade would unsettle financial markets."

As for the infelicitously-named Jim Jones, the environmental lobby must be plotzing itself. "Jones, an Iraq war skeptic, is a strong supporter of offshore drilling and other steps to increase domestic production of oil and gas." Yes. Someone who gets it. Iraq doesn't matter at all, any more than any other neglected third world hellhole, except for its oil. Duh. There would have been no Iraq war, save for the oil -- not for the obvious reason, but because Saddam, like every other petty monster who squats over the open cesspool of his country, wouldn't have had the money to be a monster anywhere except within his own borders. Duh.

And then there's Hillary, our next Secretary of State. I'm not disgusted by this. We know she has a foul and abusive temper. I like that in a woman who has to deal with selfish foreigners. Don't you? And more than her love of 1960s Trotsky-chic village-speak, she may actually have an eye out for her place in history. American history loves effectiveness. Something to hope for.

Says Barnes, "If Obama wants to pursue economic and national security policies that would thrill, William Ayers, and the Democratic left, he has a funny way of showing it. The only reasonable conclusion is he's spurning the left." I wouldn't go that far. We don't know what his gameplan is. What his game is. That's because we don't know anything about him.

Obama is consistently characterized as "brilliant", by both the right and the left. Well, those who faithfully attend to the prose preserved in these pages will have noticed that your humble author endeavors to give words such weight as their meaning justifies. Obama is brilliant in one way only -- as a giver of prepared speeches. He may be brilliant in other ways, as yet unmanifest. So the idea that his centrist appointments are just opening moves of a subtle chessgame, which will reveal a devastating ploy and a crushing endgame -- uh, no, I don't see it happening. More likely, he just doesn't want to be Hoover, and doesn't have the elbowroom to try to be FDR.

Desperate times require steadiness, not revolution. You might think it would be otherwise, but security affords the luxury of experimentation. Trying times require a falling back to the tried and true, the abandoning of which will have brought the bad times on. Not a hard truth to see.

Will the left get its bone? Of course, in things that don't matter, like Labor and Education -- the departments that shouldn't even exist and don't do anything meaningful anyway. But axioms are what they are. All politics is local. Nothing is more local than your pocketbook. Hardly anything really matters in government. The way our money is spent, the way our borders are kept, the way our actual rights are protected -- everything else is just people talking.

So we'll have to wait and see. So far, with no actual power but only a bully pulpit, Obama is not the abomination we might have feared. Satan may have to wait a while longer for his antichrist.


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