Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Worse and Worser

Fortunately, Obama is running out of appointments. If he had many more to make, he might just disappear into the muck. Joe Biden was bad enough; then came the Clintonites, including the Better Half of that dreadful eponymous couple, then the Bush carryover Robert Gates, the Wall Street crowd Robert Rubin tutored – and, yes, a few beacons of “change,” but no genuine “progressives,” in peripheral positions. Now that making nice to Hillary has morphed into “bipartisanship,” Obama’s stick-it-to his-constituency style, lauded by the media for its “serenity,” has reached a new low. Judd Gregg, New Hampshire’s unabashedly rightwing Republican Senator, will be Obama’s Commerce Secretary. Gregg is not too rabid a social conservative – after all, his constituents are (comparatively) enlightened New Englanders – but on everything else, everything traditionally political, he’s as bad as all but the most ludicrous of the Republican Senators.

When rumors of a Gregg appointment surfaced last week, the thought was that Obama was being consummately shrewd. New Hampshire has a Democratic governor, John Lynch. Once Norm Coleman has exhausted all his legal machinations to keep comedian Al Franken out of the Senate, then the governor would appoint a Democrat – and voilĂ , a filibuster proof majority. But Mr. Bipartisan ain’t mean (Republican) enough. Evidently, he brokered a deal where, Democratic governor or not, a Republican would succeed the Republican. Maybe it will be a better Republican than Gregg – University of New Hampshire President Bonnie Newman has been mentioned and maybe she’d be less bad (who knows?) -- but a Republican nevertheless. The Obama-can-do-no-wrong crowd – yes, it still exists – claims, reading off of Rahm Emanuel’s talking points, that this is like stealing the other team’s quarterback. Yea, sure. It’s more like giving the other team the ball. But, then, what’s new!

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