Thursday, November 20, 2008

Fresh Blood or Fresh Meat?

Obama has approached Hillary Clinton to be his Sec. of State. Ex-Sen. Tom Daschle as the Health Care Czar (whatever that is). Rahm Emanuel as his White House Chief of Staff. Eric Holder as AG. Everyone's referring to these folks as Clintonistas. While the urge to give yourself the most experienced team in the universe (mostly because they've all been there before) is understandable, this particular team carries a taint: William Jefferson Clinton, ex-Pres. He wasn't all bad, but when he was bad, he was very, very bad, indeed.

Obama needs to be about boldness, and he's picking folks out of the middle of the "darn good" pile. Hilary. As centrist as you can get, and somewhat a bit to the right. Daschle is well-known for being mealy-mouthed and far too trusting for his own good, and his wife lobbies for health care companies. While Emanuel has a reputation of being a bit of a wolf in wolf's clothing, he was one fellow who pushed hard for NAFTA, which has been a disaster for America's and Mexico's economies. And Holder was involved in the Marc Rich pardon scandal.

The first ray of light has been the choice of Ariz. Gov. Janet Napolitano for Homeland Security Chief. By targeting the business owners that hire illegals, and the criminals that supply them with fake IDs, she's going about the illegal immigration problem the right way - make it tough on those who are exploiting the needs of the border crossers, rather than going after the folks who are coming here because our treaties have screwed up their economy.

Obama really needs to move his Cabinet and his policies to the left as quickly as possible. Working across the aisle is commendable, and while I don't want to be in the "so THERE" camp, and f^&k over the Repugs as much as they f^&ked us over, what Obama really should be wanting to do right now is run with the wave of good will he currently has, and persuade us to do better as a nation. I think he can do that. But if he follows it up with a "living in the 90s" style of administration, he (and we) will be in big trouble. All of Clinton's years led to the collapse of the Dot-Com bubble, followed (in the Shrub years) by the housing bubble, followed by the banking and Wall Street bubble. Bubbles do not make good economies.

Obama talks about change, and the change we really need is to get away from this mindset of growth, growth, growth. If it was happening to you, it would be a bad thing. Constant expansion is either a weight problem or cancer. Perhaps what we need is to have an economy that simply works, creates jobs where they're needed, balances human capital against the other kind, and interlinks with the rest of the world. Stability usually means peace, boring as that is. When someone is suffering somewhere, conflict isn't far behind.

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