Sunday, November 23, 2008

Stasis You Can Believe In

Victor Davis Hanson asks a good question:

So a mere two weeks after victory, 'hope and change' and 'a break from the past' reified into parceling out posts to dozens of Clintonite retreads, plenty of the old requisite Ivy-League law degrees, ample influence from establishment ex-lobbyists, de rigueur Sidwell Friends for the kids, and apparent sudden existential angst and uncertainty over FISA, getting out pronto from Iraq, closing down the Constitution-shredding Gitmo, and overturning the McCarthyite Patriot Act—and all to acclaim and relief from aristocratic Beltway pundits of both parties? So that was all the election was about? Just new faces on the same old, same old?

Here's one more question: if it tuns out that President Obama pursues many of the same policies that George W. Bush pursued, but receives acclaim instead of denunciations, what does that say about those bien pensants who have been doing the denouncing over the past 8 years?


Anonymous said...

I automatically assume that anyone who is being attacked by VDH and the Dailykos crowd at the same time must be doing something right. Some Progressives seem shell-shocked right now, because they are finding out that Obama is a centrist. And many on the Right seem frustrated that the Socialist label isn't sticking to Obama, and that he is in the process of building a center-left coalition (and more center than left). So both sides are attacking him for loading up on folks with ties to the Clintons. Honestly, what would you expect him to do?

There's been one Democratic President in the last 28 years. Moreover, leaving aside the soap opera that characterized that Presidential period, on a practical level Clinton's presidency was quite a success. So Obama needs to select from a pool of experienced managers who aren't avowed right wingnuts or outright incompetents, and is thus pretty limited in what he has to choose from.

This guy is a pragmatic Centrist. He's looking at the disaster that was the entire Carter presidency with his team of Washington outsiders, the tragic missteps and inability to correct of the adamantine Bush 43 presidency, and the 3 ring circus of Clinton's first two years, and he's doing everything he can to avoid repeats of the same. So he is choosing from a small pool of candidates who have shown they share his intentions. Whether it pleases everyone doesn't really enter into the calculus. And it shouldn't.
Personally, I like what I am seeing.


Mark Heuring said...


Ya know what? For the most part, I agree with you. But you'll forgive me for being amused at how much indigestion it causes the Kossacks. And of course you've never been one of them.

It remains to be seen if Obama is a pragmatic centrist - the WPA-style proposal he floated over the weekend makes me question that - but we'll just have to see how that plays out. I'm reserving judgment for now. But I'll laugh at the Kossacks every chance I get.