Sunday, November 16, 2008

If Clinton Becomes Sec. of State for Obama, My Cynicism Will Max Out!

The buzz in DC still has Senator Clinton becoming Secretary of State in the Obama administration. As much as I respect Clinton, if this happens, my cynicism about politics will completely max out. Obama said that Clinton's war vote showed a "lack of judgment." His constant retort to her argument that he lacked experience was that she lacked judgment. I would never want someone who lacked judgment on foreign affairs to run the State Department!

Of course, Obama already undercut that judgment issue when he picked Joe Biden as a running mate. Biden, like Clinton, voted for the war. And like Clinton, Biden voted for the Bush administration's bankruptcy legislation and NAFTA (Clinton only "supported" it). Today, the Obama transition team announced that two veteran lawyers from the Clinton administration would serve as White House Counsel and as counsel to the Vice President. This does not look much different than the 1990s to me. If Clinton actually serves in the administration, it will certainly end up being "more of the same." I'm not saying "more of the same" is bad. Obama and his loudest cheerleaders made those arguments, not I.

I have not even mentioned that Obama's team said or suggested that Clinton was deceitful, racist, divisive, stuck in the past, had a dumptruck of dirt on her, wanted Obama assassinated, and that all she knew how to do was fight. Only a "politician" could pick someone like this to work with him. Only a politician would work with someone who called her things things. But no one ever doubted Clinton was a politician. She never advanced a narrative of political "innocence" or piety, and she never received the benefit of the doubt on any of these matters. Will Obama's cabinet choices demostrate for the dreamy eyed people that he is just as political and more of the same as any other Democrat or Republican?

PS: Alternative Title for this entry--Why I Am Not on the Transition Team Like All Other Liberal Lawyers in DC, Part 145,452,424,902,879,807,924,387,098,702,878!


CKAinRedStateUSA said...

C'mon, now. Don't let your cynicism max out this early. Shoot, Hussein hasn't even begun rule, er, govern.

Anonymous said...

Dissenting Justice,

Thanks for starting this blog. I'm a disillusioned democrat, and pretty liberal myself, but I refused to vote for Obama this time around. You're right, it seemed that conservatives and conservative democrats were questioning Obama, but no true liberals even questioned him. Every time I expressed my concerns, all my friends said, "You sound like a Republican."
Anyway, as far as Clinton, I think it's clear now that Obama didn't mean a word of what he said about Clinton during the primaries. He was just hurling any insult he could come up with to make her look bad. I think it's just more evidence of the sleazy campaign he ran.

Publius said...

Senator Clinton will not become "Secretary of State for Obama" but Secretary of State for the United States. You see, she's an American who is happy to serve her country. And President-elect Obama is selecting her because she has particular talents that will serve her well in this post. My hat is off to both of them, who put their country first, not people who continue to dwell on old political disputes.

Darren Lenard Hutchinson said...

Publius - you are unecessarily parsing. Rephrasing the expression I used does not undermine my argument -- nor does it turn the campaign into ancient history. Having a short memory -- or none at all -- has caused a lot of folks to equate 2008 with 1964. I reject ahistorical arguments.

Also, I think that selecting Clinton could educate some voters about how gullible they were during the primaries. If people actually believed all of the horrific things about either candidate, how could this nomination fail to raise an eyebrow? There are a lot of people who have "talents" in this area, but Obama has not said publicly that these individuals lack judgment, are misleading, divisive, stuck in the failed politics of the past, etc. Why not pick them? Why not Richardson? Because picking Clinton is as much a political decision, as one about her talents. Accepting that reality is healthy.

If sniper-gate were such a horrific moment that showed her as a neurotic liar, and if her war vote showed a lack of judgment -- why have her in the highest ranking cabinet position -- and the leading one on foreign affairs? My answer: it was all politics. That's what people do not want to confront -- but wish to bury as "the past."

shag carpet bomb said...

you wrote:

>PS: Alternative Title for this entry--Why I Am Not on the Transition Team Like All Other Liberal Lawyers in DC, Part 145,452,424,902,879,807,924,387,098,702,878!


not sure how I found your blog but I've been reading for a few days and I've enjoyed the commentary. keep up the good work.

I suppose you were just using hyperbole, though, when you wrote that your cynicism would max out. I mean, I share your view that Obama is just another politician and am disturbed by so much talk of being "post-partisan" as if being partisan was a bad thing. In that, I'm not suprised about the choice of Clinton as Sec'y of Defense -- or by any of the other choices that promise more of the same.

I guess I'm wondering if everyone is just going to continue merrily along making excuses and asking everyone to give the man a chance. It seems that, at some point, the reality-based community will have to face reality. :)

Darren Lenard Hutchinson said...

Hi, Shag. Thanks for reading -- and I hope you got your subscription! Anyway, it's glad to see someone as deeply skeptical of politics as I am. In some ways, I am not surprised that Obama would pick her -- although I am on some level. More than that, I am surprised that people are not using this as a moment to cut through rhetoric. They are still high from election day --actually, from the Iowa caucuses.

I tried to start a debate online on another webpage about Obama picking someone he or his surrogates called divisive, deceitful, etc., and the responses were (1) no one ever said those things; (2) Clinton wants to serve her country and is honored to work with Obama; and (3) most of us have moved on. How can you argue with people who are either in denial or who are so unwilling to explore reality that they falsely claim that they have moved on? If you refuse to interrogate an issue intellectually, you cannot "move beyond" it.

Heidi Li said...

I love this post, Darren - for its aptness and its humor, particularly the subtitle.
To be serious for one moment: you identify what I kept emphasizing and continue to emphasize. Whatever you think about Senator Clinton's views or way of doing business she's never claimed to be anything other than a politician - indeed she has rejected secular beatification. This actually is a form of integrity: if we must accept, for now, what politics is, at least let us have intelligent people who admit they are willing to work in the field. No one individual can transcend the field and remain in it. Indeed to think that one can is the height of hubris. Of course, one might pretend to think that to get others to believe this is possible so you will be elected - but then you are a hypocrite at the metalevel as well as the usual level of politics.

Darren Lenard Hutchinson said...

Hello, Heidi. I agree that it is admirable to admit to your goals, to wear them on your sleeves. You kind of know what to expect. One great political scientist told me that Clinton is such an opportunist that she would do much more than others to please Democrats. She is certainly a "party person." Do you think someone who spoke at the RNC would have remained in a high-level post with President Clinton?

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