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What Is Happening To My Target Rich Administration?

I have to confess that President elect Obama has me seriously worried for reasons that I would never, in my wildest expectations, have predicted as recently as one month ago.

Blogger tigerhawk has noted that Obama is lurching to the center with his cabinet appointments in a way to make his administration look like a political Rorschach test that liberal and moderate Republicans might pass with flying colors. This doesn't necessarily make me happy but it is considerably less troubling than what was anticipated.

Notwithstanding the exceptions of Tom Daschle and the odious Carol Browner, the much anticipated line up of the usual liberal suspects has been infiltrated by some very moderate and right leaning types that I could actually tolerate in a Democrat administration. We have:

Gates at Defense: A+

Geithner at Treasury: A+

Clinton at State: B+ (Does the Secretary of State actually do anything that doesn't go through Defense and the CIA first?)

Summers at the National Economic Council: A- (Added grade consideration for being fired by Harvard)

Daschle at Health and Human Services: F- (He'll be calling in all the chits for national healthcare)

Retired Marine Gen. James Jones at National Security Advisor: A

Holder at Justice: Wild Card

Napolitano at DHS: F (Sadly, amnesty is here to stay. Congress will have no say in this travesty as policy will be implemented by bureaucratic fiat)

Panetta at CIA: A+ (This was a head scratcher at first, but then the light came on: he's going to let the CIA continue to do its thing. Panetta's just there to make sure Obama doesn't get impeached. Think of him as Obama's Tom Hagen, the consigliere)

The Executive Office and its appointments make such easy and inviting targets but perhaps conservatives should concentrate, as they did in 1994, on the real den of iniquity: Congress. They're off to the usual bad start already.


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Comments (43)

And so Obama has given them... (Below threshold)
Allen:

And so Obama has given them choices that they can't attack him for, and because they didn't demand him to take them, they can't take credit for. He's given them the worst of everything and the only people who hate Obama right now are the extremists of both sides, who are upset because he's not giving them the partisan warfare they desire.

No matter what Obama does it won't be enough? The conservatives complained about the liberal media and the media went conservative. They still complain about the liberal media. They'll still complain about Obama even if his entire cabinet consisted of Republicans.

Well, OK, I admit, it looks like center right now was socialist left in October. Makes one wonder where we will be this summer.

I still don't trust him, or... (Below threshold)

I still don't trust him, or congress.

I still don't trust... (Below threshold)
Hansel2:

I still don't trust him, or congress.

Really. Why?

Or can you just not get past the fact that he is a democrat, which you possibly can't tolerate even if you have a good one.

And beyond that, the man still hasn't taken office yet.

Congress I'll agree with you on.

Geithner at Treasu... (Below threshold)
Morrissimo:
Geithner at Treasury: A+
Are you daft? Geithner is THE poster child of the sad-and-busted Keynesian fiscal and monetary policies that have virtually guaranteed us a deflationary depression.

PEBO's pick for Treasury was the one "hope and change" element that I was daring to even hope would be something approaching a positive change. Instead - right out of the gate, no less - we get yet another one of the same inmates to continue running the asylum the way it's been run for a quarter-century. And everyone, conservatives and liberals alike, think that's just super-duper. May God have mercy: we, as a nation (and apparently as a species), have failed to keep a grasp on our understanding of the inexorable power of compounding interest.

"The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results" - Albert Einstein

You're wrong on Panetta... (Below threshold)
the struggler:

You're wrong on Panetta

Wrong all the way.Ta... (Below threshold)

Wrong all the way.
Take your meds.....or see your Doc....yesterday.

Geithner is THE poste... (Below threshold)

Geithner is THE poster child of the sad-and-busted Keynesian fiscal and monetary policies that have virtually guaranteed us a deflationary depression.

Geithner may be on the poster, but Congress brought you the deflationary recession.

BTW, it's not a depression yet because I still have my job.

Geithner is an experienced Federal Reserve banker from the most important Fed bank district in the world. If you're worried about Keynesian monetary policy you need start writing letters to the guy with the beard....Bernanke.

I'm much more worried about... (Below threshold)

I'm much more worried about Pelosi and Reid than I am about Obama or any cabinet post.


Thanks for the link, and I ... (Below threshold)

Thanks for the link, and I think your assessment of the Panetta appointment is spot on. I'm watching Fox tonight, and I think Hannity and O'Reilly are missing the point entirely. Here's to hoping you are right.

Panetta, who owes his livel... (Below threshold)

Panetta, who owes his livelihood since the Clinton Administration to George Soros, a good pick?
Wrong, wrong and wrong.

Of course it is the antithesis of Bush's letting the CIA undercut him from the outset of his administration so for the Bama, it's a good pick.

Of course it is the... (Below threshold)
Hansel2:

Of course it is the antithesis of Bush's letting the CIA undercut him from the outset...

More apologies for George Bush. Can we stop it with the apologies for this useless sack? If he'd been as measured in picking his cabinet as Obama has been - in fact, if he had one ounce the intelligence to pick a cabinet that assisted him rather than did everything for him (since he couldn't fathom doing any of it for himself, or understanding it) we wouldn't be in the mess we're in.

Stop apologizing for this fool. It removes every ounce of credibility you have when you post.

Ironic. Republicans likely ... (Below threshold)
John S:

Ironic. Republicans likely will find more to like in Obama than liberal Democrats will. Certainly he'll be better than the train wreck McCain. And now Democrats, who have done nothing in the past 8 years except shout "BushHitler," will have to prove they can actually run something.

Ironic. Republicans like... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Ironic. Republicans likely will find more to like in Obama than liberal Democrats will.

Just as Democrats found more to like in McCain than conservative Republicans did. You're comparing the extremist minority of one party with the moderate majority of the other.

Ironic. Republicans... (Below threshold)
Hansel2:

Ironic. Republicans likely will find more to like in Obama than liberal Democrats will.

Good. That's exactly how it should be. So now, all the right-wing neocons can shut up since their form of government has been an utter failure and the far left can stop expecting government to solve all ills.

The only way this country should be governed is from the middle. Any other philosophy is a loser philosophy and doomed to failure.

...and let me expand upon t... (Below threshold)
Hansel2:

...and let me expand upon that by stating any extreme is exactly that - an extreme and not the national consensus. Governing from the middle is the only logical, thoughtful approach that doesn't rely on gut-level emotions or politics of the specific.

George W. Bush has been a perfect example of how an extreme can be disasterous here in the U.S. Hopefully we will not see the likes of him for some time.

And for those who think Bush has been governing from the middle - you're obviously so far to the right you wouldn't know what the middle was if it gave you a lap dance.

Ah, but he tossed Richardso... (Below threshold)

Ah, but he tossed Richardson when he realized Franken was just about to steal the election, making the Dems only one seat away from a filibuster-proof Senate.

That's right. He's going to name a Republican Senator from a state with a Democrat governor. At least, that's my guess.

Modern Democrats generally ... (Below threshold)

Modern Democrats generally rule from the center since at least 1976.

"What Is Happening To My Ta... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

"What Is Happening To My Target Rich Administration?"
Posted by HughS

Not to appear too world-weary or cynical, but commercial interests have often trumped the peoples' mandate, thus sewing the seeds of confusion in minds larger than ours, since citizens of democratic societies or republics throughout history have often been the last to perceive that the spirit of the law (the social contract) has been superseded in behalf of family ties or business opportunities diametrically opposed to consensus or the common good, while the facade of electioneering goes on as before.

http://www.stopthenorthamericanunion.com/CFRMembers.html

Long-short: partisan politics in the USA, circa 2009, is a construct. "Politician" (careerist) is but part of the public relations caste (or estate) which has been in thrall to the same upper class that has ruled the waves since...1648? (forward or backward 200 years is a matter of debate).

P.S. Good post.

"The only way this country ... (Below threshold)
syn:

"The only way this country should be governed is from the middle. Any other philosophy is a loser philosophy and doomed to failure."

Exactly what is the middle? Please define its philosophy?

Apparently, thus far, the incoming President is going to continue the outgoing President's National Security agenda despite the fact that the majority of Democrats have for the last seven years been against the war and are confused on whether they support defending America.

The outgoing President tried the incoming President's plan to stimulate the economy yet the economy is worse than ever and likely to be very ugly over the next two years.

AGW aka climate change is proven to be a fraud on science, none believe in it yet the incoming President plans to impose Luddite Green laws and create silly Green jobs to change lightbulbs.

I could be wrong, however I seriously doubt a majority of Americans would be against the Born Alive Protection Act if they supported Partial Birth ban.

As exhibited in the California election, those who voted majority for the incoming President voted against Gay Marriage.

I have absolutely know idea where the incoming President stands on taxes for both individual and business(small or corporate) yet Congress was unwilling to keep the outgoing President's reduction in Marginal Tax rates permanent. Why is the incoming President talking about tax relief yet none is talking about making the reduced Marginal Tax rate permanent?

The only thing government-funded stem cell research is going to do will be to help bankrupt States such as California, NJ, Michigan, Missouri, so why the waste?

Most Americans are quite angry and frankly fed up about having to financially support citizens who are not legally residing in this country along with the rising crime rate caused by the drug cartels and their gangs who operate under Open Border-Amnesty protection . In fact, most Blue Dog Democrats in Congress won in 2006 by running anti-amnesty platform

These are a few questions I have about the 'midde' yet none seem to provide any answers.

What is the 'middle' philosophy?

At first Panetta's nominati... (Below threshold)
SShiell:

At first Panetta's nomination was a head-scratcher but then I took a second look at it. Panetta's nomination will quiet the Left, who fears the appointment of anyone even remotely associated with the Bush administration. I also realized Panetta was Clinton's Chief of Staff when Clinton authorized the policy of Rendition - a policy that Bush gets the blame for on the left. This is a brilliant move by Obama - he will be allowed to keep the policies that have kept this nation safe and quiets the Left all at the same time.

Hillary? This is as scary a... (Below threshold)
Pretzel Logic:

Hillary? This is as scary as the notion of her as Commander in Chief.

The outgoing Presid... (Below threshold)
Hansel2:

The outgoing President tried the incoming President's plan to stimulate the economy yet the economy is worse than ever and likely to be very ugly over the next two years.

Actually, Bush tried his own plan, with Paulson making the decisions on the details. Obama has not been sworn in yet. Try to refrain from blaming him for the last 8 years until he's in. It's a childish practice.


climate change is proven to be a fraud on science

This is what the far right believes. It's just not supported by the facts, but facts get in the way with you folks when it doesn't support your beliefs. Most Americans want something done, therefore a middle ground.

As exhibited in the California election, those who voted majority for the incoming President voted against Gay Marriage.

Possibly true, but your talking about one state in a large country. It may not define all the other states, or for that matter the majority of Americans. And if it does, that's fine. As I said, we're talking about the middle. Not the left or right.


The only thing government-funded stem cell research is going to do will be to help bankrupt States such as California, NJ, Michigan, Missouri, so why the waste?

Get over the stem cell issue. The majority of American's believe we should fund it. Bush and his far right religious nuts were the only one's who opposed it - but they had the power to do so. Science is not an evil. Get used to it.

Most Americans are quite angry and frankly fed up about having to financially support citizens who are not legally residing in this country along with the rising crime rate caused by the drug cartels and their gangs who operate under Open Border-Amnesty protection . In fact, most Blue Dog Democrats in Congress won in 2006 by running anti-amnesty platform

I agree. And I would consider support of illegals on this basis far left. Once again, not the middle.

What you seem to believe from you post is pretty well aligned with George W. Bush. Bush has been an extreme. Hopefully someday you'll recognize that. Most of the rest of us are aware of this, thus the widespread repudiation of the current republican agenda in the last election.

HanselMy question ... (Below threshold)
syn:

Hansel

My question was "Exactly what is the middle? Please define its philosophy?"

Why can't you simply answer the question instead of attacking my examples and incorporating your hatred towards people who hold religious faith?


"This is what the far right... (Below threshold)
syn:

"This is what the far right believes."

You forgot to mention the Lefty who recently posted on Huffingtonpost about the climate change fraud on science.

Hansel

At this point all you have done is to exhibit to all that you have no idea what is the 'middle' and that you have extreme hatred and bigotry for religious people.

Which leads me to the question "What is the difference between far-right religious and far-left religious"?

Don't they all worship the same God?

And another question<... (Below threshold)
syn:

And another question

Since President-elect Obama is against Gay Marriage does this mean that Obama and all of Obama's supporters are far-right wing extremists?

If not, how is President-elect Obama's position on Gay Marriage different than President Bush?

The real problem with Presi... (Below threshold)
kevino:

The real problem with President Elect Obama's choices so far is the lack of real business experience. In particular, Geithner and Summers are career Washington bureaucrats. Outside of a government setting, they know economics only in the abstract. I would like to see people who have a broader range of experience - particularly management and business experience.

incorporating your ... (Below threshold)
Hansel2:

incorporating your hatred towards people who hold religious faith?

Nice projection. Show me where and how I used the word "hate" or even made a generalization about religion. All I said was stem cell research was opposed by Bush and his right wing religious nuts.
That's pretty specific, but if you need to find more in that, go at it.

As far as knowing what a middle philosophy is? Well, how many political parties do we have that are truly "the middle." None. So when someone like Obama grabs a bit from both sides, that pretty much represents the middle ground.

If you don't like that assessment, make your own. Lets see what you think the middle constitutes.

Since President-ele... (Below threshold)
Hansel2:

Since President-elect Obama is against Gay Marriage does this mean that Obama and all of Obama's supporters are far-right wing extremists?

You're projecting your own beliefs on what I actually said.

Here's what I actually said about the gay marriage question:

It may not define all the other states, or for that matter the majority of Americans. And if it does, that's fine.

Does that sound like someone who is on one side of this issue? Personally, I think the gay people should have all the rights the rest of us do, as well as black people, asian, etc. I think civil unions are fine. It's the term "marriage" that I think is a problem, and they should stop trying to co-opt it, since it's inflammatory.

attacking my exampl... (Below threshold)
Hansel2:

attacking my examples

Lastly, actually read what I wrote. I'm agreeing with you on some of your points. If you're only seeing what I disagree with you on, then you are once again projecting. Your like that doctor thinking Uncle Leo is mad at him because Elaine drew angry eyebrows on him.

The "middle philosophy" is ... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

The "middle philosophy" is liberalism. Its only orthodoxy is that ideas ought to remain in a state of reflexive equilibrium--that our social and moral epistemologies should never be taken as "settled". The fringe philosophies would be anarchism (libertarianism) and communism.]

This is so obvious as to be gospel amongst people who study political philosophy. Libertarianism is a punching bag in academia but still lives on amongst those who think Ayn Rand is a good writer.

I haven't really been surpr... (Below threshold)
Big Mo:

I haven't really been surprised by his picks. I think that for the most part, they are solid (and I agree with the post). I suspected all along that Obama did something that was against the conventional wisdom: In the primaries, he ran as a centriest, but in the general, he ran as a lefty -- and it worked. (Usually the opposite is true.)

And once he won, he reverted to being more centrist. No one can govern from the extreme of his party for long. (And despite lefty protests, Bush did not govern from the extreme right wing.)

Smart presidents know that right off the bat completely ditching what the previous administration did is usually not a good idea. Consider that Lincoln continued Buchanan's policies regarding secession right up until the attack on Fort Sumpter.

In 2001, in the landmark co... (Below threshold)
coupeditor:

In 2001, in the landmark court case Coleman-Adebayo v. Browner, Carol M. Browner and the agency she administered, the EPA, were found guilty of race, color, and sex-based discrimination as well as tolerating a hostile work environment. The case provided the impetus for the passage (unanimous in both chambers) of the No FEAR Act (Notification of Federal Employees Anti-discrimination and Retaliation) that was signed into law by President George W. Bush. The law was heralded as the first civil rights law of the 21st century. Coleman-Adebayo v. Browner is now mandated study for all new Federal employees within 90 days of their being hired, and every 2 years for all Federal employees. The extent of the racism and retaliation within Ms. Browner's EPA was so pervasive that Congress and the Executive required study of it as the penultimate example of what was WRONG with government. When asked in Congressional hearings whether she accepted the judgement of the jury, Ms. Browner said she did.

The question for Mr. Obama, is: Given her unrepentant position on the deplorable conditions she oversaw at EPA, how is Carol Browner qualified to hold administrative position again?

"The "middle philosophy" is... (Below threshold)
syn:

"The "middle philosophy" is liberalism. Its only orthodoxy is that ideas ought to remain in a state of reflexive equilibrium--that our social and moral epistemologies should never be taken as "settled".

True enough unfortunately Classical Liberalism in it's original form has not existed in America since the day after John F Kennedy was shot dead; radical Marxism killed the Classical Liberal.

That is when William F Buckley decided to yell stop and thus was born the Conservative movement.

Conservativism today is far closer in ideology to Classical Liberal than Marxist Collectivism is to America's founding principles.

Collectivism (any form of centralised power ie socialism, communism, marxism, nazism, fascism, Islamism) is a Euro-based philosophy completely foreign to American Liberty and the Republic for which we stand.

As a matter of fact, the US Constitution is the most radical document in the history of humankind and America's Revolution was the real 'Peoples Revolution' not that fake crap Lenin, Stalin, Castro, Pol Pot, Mussolini, Hitler and various other Leftist leaders of anti-Liberal Collectivist ideologies.

hansel2 - "More apologi... (Below threshold)
Marc:

hansel2 - "More apologies for George Bush. Can we stop it with the apologies for this useless sack? If he'd been as measured in picking his cabinet as Obama has been."

You call picking Richardson who is under investigation (and well known since at least Aug, 2008) "measured?"

Measured stupidity maybe.

P.S. hansel2Do you... (Below threshold)
Marc:

P.S. hansel2

Do you also call Obama's selection of Carol Browner "measured?"

If so I beg to differ.

My question is will Obama and his top White House environmental advisor, former EPA director Carol Browner, dare to try forcing consumers to buy what Washington thinks they should buy?

Or maybe they'll just do what the enviro-whackos have wanted to do all along - ban private autos entirely and make everybody herd onto mass transit cattle cars.

Those are the old reliable tactics of the folks Browner rubs elbows with at the Socialist International's Commission for a Sustainable World Society.

What, you didn't know she was so far "out there" as to be classified as living in Moonbatland?

Well see for yourself, she a member of SI's Commission for a Sustainable World Society.

i disagree that obama ever ... (Below threshold)
peabody3000:

i disagree that obama ever campaigned as anything other than a centrist. it makes perfect practical sense for him to bring on DC insiders in his cabinet, and he can still use these people to reverse every disasterous bu$h policy that has befallen the US

pea[brain]3000 - i disa... (Below threshold)
Marc:

pea[brain]3000 - i disagree that obama ever campaigned as anything other than a centrist.

Show me a "centrist" that desires to dismantle the U.S. nuclear arsenal as Obama wants.

That's not centrist, it borders on loonbat Code Pink territory.

obama doesnt want to "disma... (Below threshold)
peabody3000:

obama doesnt want to "dismantle the U.S. nuclear arsenal"

talk about loonbats... you chicken-littles will say and believe ANYTHING

And you're so far in the ta... (Below threshold)
Marc:

And you're so far in the tank for The Messiah you can't come close to deciphering what he intends as evidenced in plain language via the linked video.

Or.... it's beneath your so-called dignity to EVER admit your wrong.

marc - you remind me of tha... (Below threshold)
peabody3000:

marc - you remind me of that mentally disabled mccain voter who said obama was a muslim. no, hes not a muslim, and no, he doesnt want to mothball our nukes. watch the vid you linked to and youll notice he says "deep cuts".... so if we cut the arsenal by 10, 20, or even 50% we'll still have many thousands of warheads for you chest-beaters to verbally menace the rest of the world with

now put on your safety goggles and go to bed......

Or maybe they'll ju... (Below threshold)
Hansel2:

Or maybe they'll just do what the enviro-whackos have wanted to do all along - ban private autos entirely and make everybody herd onto mass transit cattle cars.

There's so much inane about this response I don't even know where to start. First of all, you're speculating on what these people are going to do - or might plan to do - without ANY REAL EVIDENCE to support your claim.

We live in a new time now. Facts matter again. It's not all just a big gray area where Ann Coulter can say something and it's given creedence. Stop being so easily swayed by your conservative talk morons.

Secondly, anyone who calls groups that look to ensure a healthy environment or find some counter to global warming (which, sorry, is a fact) "whackos, has been drinking the republican kool-aid way to long.

The fact of the matter is, your paradigm of truth and order, the Bush administration, has been exposed for what it has always been - liars and manipulators. The general public has admonished them and everyone who sides with them. This is not bad luck on your part, or mass hysteria. You've just been too brainwashed to see anything clearly and have been left behind on this.

But, back to the point, most believe Obama is a centrist - therefore, he is a centrist. If the majority of the public had thought Hitler were a centrist - then for Germany at that time Hitler would have BEEN a centrist. Bush was far right, but him being that for 8 years actually made the far right (whom Reagan even considered "whackos") more center right in many people's eyes.

What is center is defined by the people, and the people have spoken regarding their approval of Obama. If you 20%ers don't like it, that's your misfortunate and your screaming to an empty auditorium.

Bush was far right</... (Below threshold)
John Irving:

Bush was far right

When you veered off reality road at the start of your comment, this was your handwave as you went over the cliff.

hansel2 - "First of all... (Below threshold)
Marc:

hansel2 - "First of all, you're speculating on what these people are going to do - or might plan to do......

Stop being so easily swayed by your conservative talk morons."

Funny to the nth degree. First you whine about me speculating, then do the very same thing about who I listen to.

Of course if you can prove that poppycock I'll retract that.

Pffft, rant on. Idiot.




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