By Bernard Weiner, The Crisis Papers
Over the past decade, I've met fairly regularly with "Shallow Throat,"** a mole high up in the former Bush Administration, currently a respected consultant in Washington, D.C. A well-connected insider, ST knows where the bodies are buried, and how the political game is played (and rigged) to benefit the powers-that-be behind the Republican and Democratic parties.
Given the momentous events in the news, a good share of which puzzle me, it seemed appropriate to contact Shallow Throat for some insights into what may be going on. We talked the other day in a quiet booth at a Bethesda tavern.
ST: I've missed our chats. Where you been? Aren't you and your liberal cohorts happy with the new, feisty Obama, willing to call out the Republicans by name, more eager to mix it up with his opposition?
BW: Yes, of course. However, Obama ran as a transformational president, but once in power he backed off making any consequential structural changes; he was content to nibble around the edges of power but not confront power, way too eager to compromise way too early. He lost nearly three years of possible movement forward before he looked at the electoral calendar and decided it as now time to alter his approach. So today we're presented once again with Obama in full campaign mode, with tough rhetoric and promises of action he would probably never take. He's certainly better than McCain would have been, and stands heads and shoulders above the current crowd of clownish numbskulls running for the Republican candidacy, but we expected, and Obama promised, much more.
ST: So you liberals woke up to how the game is played in Washington, and that Obama is a politician -- surprise! He's a centrist pragmatist and always has been; he has no desire to initiate truly radical change.
You do realize, don't you, that the Republican Party, decided early on that their sole mission is to destroy Obama and his initiatives. In their desire to retake the White House, they created conditions that would have stymied any Democratic president, let alone one presented with a Great Recession/Depression that is wrecking the economy and social structure of this country. Cut the man some slack!
BW: We did, for far too long; we're not in the political alterations business anymore -- no more cutting-of-slack. We need action, not just incremental nibbling away at the forces of power but really getting into a serious remake of the rotting and corrupted structures that underlie our economic, social and political lives. Yes, the Republicans are engaged in reprehensible tactics, willing to bring down the economy, for example, just to score electoral points. But we can't ignore how complicit Obama and the Democratic legislators in general have been in moving America to this awful point.