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Put A Sock In It -- For a While.

By       Message Stephen Pizzo     Permalink
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It's a well accepted fact that those abused when young often grow up to be abusers themselves.

Well, it looks like the same thing goes for some liberials traumatized by the Bush administration's 8-year tenure.

Some of you on left of the political scale have apparently been so emotionally damaged by the Bush years you longer trust anyone, not even the guy you just elected President.

In recent days my email box has been filling up with emails from nearly hysterical liberal/progressives attacking Obama, some with the same fervor that just weeks ago they reserved for George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.

If my Sicilian grandmother were still around she would ask these people, (rhetorically) "Whats sa-matta-you?" (To which I would add a dope slap to the back their head.)

Holy over-reaction! Have some of you been so emotionally damaged, rendered so hopeless, so impatient that you can now only react to this moment in the same defensive crouch you adopted during the Bush years?

The gripes I've been getting from this group on the damaged-left range from hand wringing over the all too familiar faces showing up in the still formative Obama administration right on down to hyper-paranoid black helicopter crapola.

"Is THIS change we can believe in?" some whine, as former Clinton administration functionaries are selected by Obama to staff his transition and administration. Others fret over news that Obama might keep Defense Secretary Gates on board for awhile.

And then there's the biggie.... Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State.  

Look, anyone who has read my blog before knows how I feel about America's very own Eva Peron. I don't like her. If it were up to me I'd appoint her US Ambassador to Somalia.

But good managers don't throw babies out with the bath water. Instead they "mine them" for their talent. They understand adults don't come in one flavor. We are complicated. In fact, the most talented among us are also often the most flawed. The trick is to mine their talent and discard their flaws in the tailings.  

There's a lot about Hillary Clinton that stinks. But if she's anything, she's hyper-ambitious. She needs (as in "needy") to be seen succeeding, not failing. If she ends up as SoS  it will be Obama's  job to harness and harvest her need to succeed to his advantage. In other words, use her, rather than allow her to use him.  

I believe Obama is a good manager. I have also come to believe that, behind that disarmingly warm smile, Obama has ice water in his veins.  Anyone who crosses him once will not, I believe, get a second chance. If Hillary wants to end her political career the fastest way to do it would be to try playing her brand of palace politics in an Obama cabinet.

So I am inclined to give him the space he needs to get his team together, a team hopefully chuck full of talent, even if that talent comes with baggage I may not like.

George W. Bush is a prime example of a bad manager. He filled his administration with sycophants who, while they lacked talent ("heck of a job, Brownie) were the kind of folks his far-right Republican base felt completely comfortable with. We saw what that kind of management style get us. 

Now some of you out there on the left want Obama to emulate Bush's management style by picking only people who totally agree with you and yours on all counts?  Do you see the problem there?

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Stephen Pizzo has been published everywhere from The New York Times to Mother Jones magazine. His book, Inside Job: The Looting of America's Savings and Loans, was nominated for a (more...)

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