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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 5/18/09

Sack Rahm

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So, the question of the day is, will Rachel Alexandra run in the Belmont or not? Maybe the question is whether President Obama is getting any good advice ... or put with even more sinister implication ... maybe he is being manipulated by a cunning staff into making these really obnoxious and difficult to abandon decisions about a whole range of things? Or, as the folks around the electronic water coolers have it after a hundred day honeymoon, the sexiness has worn off, the bright light seems dim, the promise broken, the tragedy continues, and so who will we support in 2012 ... clearly not Obama? The far left is very unhappy and some are peeling off into new formations and their chorus is getting further into minor chords and moodiness. Like a animal deprived of water for way too long, the liberal progressive seems to be wanting to drink of power and program to its own death. It is a predictable response to the trek through the vast wasteland of the Cheney - Bush desert. It is notable, however, that the Obama administration thinks their very presence in Washington is a saving rain, and that all the progressive liberals need do is roll over on their backs and let the precious moisture bathe them and moisten their parched mouths. No, Mr. Obama, Mr. Emanuel, Mr. Biden, it is not enough. Our palates are parched and we need attention! The editors of the Washington Post today (Sunday) think it is great sport to see the Left left in the lurch, but hasten to correct Frank Rich in the New York Times, recalling that the situation is not neutral but perilous. And this is the crux of the matter, it seems to me. The inheritance from Cheney/Bush is as both Rich and the editors say, "difficult," and the way out of these Augean stables likely to splash some manure here and there. I admire Frank Rich and believe him to be the best of the Left columnists, not perfect, but almost always the clear head in the room. The problem with Rich's tending to idealist analysis is that the situation was not writ on a tabula rasa, nor were Democrats innocent of collusion with the Cheneyites and Bushbabies. Nancy Pelosi had an opportunity to make her discomfort known six years ago. It would have taken some legerdemain, but it could have been accomplished and the Yoo-Cheney-Rumsfeld-CIA plans upset. She did not. She is out swinging in the wind now ... where she belongs ... for lack of moral courage. But Nancy is just the largest of the Democrat targets. A thorough-going unmasking would decimate the Democrats in Congress (that's every tenth member). Obama has to work in the stables where both Republicans and Democrats kept their horses. He has to wade through this stuff on a daily basis with a pretense that the election of 2006 put the Democratic defecation on the upper floors where it dried and can now be used for bricks to rebuild the republic. In a word ... horsepucky! I don't generally admire the editors of the Post because I think their organization is all too wrapped up in the military, militarism, and imperial pretensions. But, they are right today in reminding us that our aversion to war, our abhorrence of deliberate civilian casualties, our annoyance at the profiteering of Halliburton and Blackwater does not make the immediate past go away. There are realities and the habit of ignoring them, as is all too frequently the strategy in politics, does not make them go away. Moreover, remember, the administration is still not in place with hundreds of senior positions yet to be filled. Meanwhile, President Obama must deal with the inheritance from the past with fifth columnist "left-behinds" in every corner of his administration, not to mention a moronically strident Republican "followership" prattling the fevered imaginings of Boss Tweed Limbaugh and the rest of the naughty boys and girls on Fox, stirring up anger, fear, race hatred, and, yes, sedition. Still, there is a palpable sense that President Obama is not even considering key points as he slogs more or less unheralded through the wreckage and filth of the past decade. There is the sense of a tone-deafness that did not exist during the campaign, during which he was acutely aware of nuance and detail. There is a sense, that the Presidency is not strictly speaking Obama, that someone is shading the public explanations, dismissing some of the alternatives out of hand, focusing the President on a range of alternatives that is just plain wrong. Yes, we can understand crossing the chasm we used to call an "aisle" and picking a Republican governor to go to China. There are lots of good reasons, but the Left is not bereft of talent, either, so in this instance what exactly was it about Utah's governor that trumped all possible Democrats? We need a good honest explanation, not some shrug that Obama knows what he is doing. One gets the feeling that an unannounced agenda is in progress. One gets the feeling that someone like f-bomb Emanuel thinks we are all pretty stupid and could not possibly understand. I choose Rahm Emanuel over the other guy (Axelrod) because of Emanuel's well-deserved reputation, his history of compromise in the face of victory, his choosing of DLC moderates over honest to god Democrats, his vaunted ability to find center rather than truth or platform. I choose Rahm Emanuel as, if nothing else, a very handy, visible, and dispensable sacrificial goat for the mistakes of this administration. He is (and always has been) fundamentally antagonistic to real progressive liberal values, and ... put plainly ... he must go! If he does not go soon, Mr. President, Barack H. Obama will be a one-termer, and that does not mean that the Democrats will lose in 2012. JB
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James R. Brett, Ph.D. taught Russian History before (and during) a long stint as an academic administrator in faculty research administration. His academic interests are the modern period of Russian History since Peter the Great, Chinese (more...)

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