Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Staus Quo We Can Believe In

Obama is retaining Bush's current secretary of defense, Robert Gates.

On the one hand I think it's a good decision, on the other its fun to rub in the faces of everyone who voted for Obama's new direction on the war.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Obama's Economic Team

So far, I am not terribly unhappy. Perhaps we were all wrong about this man. Maybe I can live with him so long as he continues this course of not bringing us the radical changes he promised.

While I strongly disapprove of the Keynsian-redux we are seeing as response to an exaggerated economic crisis, the impulse to use fiscal policy to affect the overall economy (a strategy fruitless at best and disastrous at worst) is not limited to those politicians with a D after thier names. In these times of "Change we can believe in (but not really)" I welcome centrist economic advisers because I feared something more radical. This crew could have just as likely served in the administration of a moderate Republican--like McCain. Geithner provides continuity with Paulson (the advantage here is, of course, negligible except that markets like continuity); Summers is an ardent free-trade advocate and consistent free marketeer; and Romer has written extensively about the negative effect of tax increases on investment. At least Paul Krugman isn't in the picture--yet.

Perhaps, like the Dems for the past eitght years I can hope only to grasp at straws, but unlike the Dems for the past eight years I am actually looking for straws to grasp.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Silver Linings

I can't say I am surprised that the election didn't go my way, but 2 hours in the bathroom sobbing is quite enough. It is now time for me to look for bright spots. Here are a few:

1) Regardless of his policies, it is refreshing that America can final elect a black man to be its president. Is racism out the window? No, but this is still a tremendous step forward.

2) DOMA and DADT will finally have a chance of being thrown to the dustbin of history. If so, I will rejoice that. If not, it will just prove that Democrats don't really care about gays; they just want to take our votes.

3) The Republicans got a beating they needed to whip them back to principles. They have spit on the principles of the party in the naked pursuit of power. It's time to find those principles again, AND someone who can communicate them. Being merely "Not Democrat" is not a promising strategy.

4) Hillary Clinton looks to be out of the White House game. In 2012 she would be running against an incumbent from her own party and in 2016 she'll be 69 years old. Sure she'll stay relevent, but it looks like she's lost her chance for the Oval Office.

5) When things go wrong (and they would no matter last night's results), the Democrats won't have a Republican to blame. They'll try of course, but it will sound as hollow as when Republicans try to blame Clinton for problems that arose after 2001.

6) We'll get to see just what the Democrats believe. Now that they have a Supermajority there will be no need to feign moderation anymore. If they truly are moderate, then wonderful. If they are as far left as I worry, I have confidence that the American public will not embrace them for long. This was a rejection of the kind of Republicans we have seen lately, not an acceptance of the kind of Democrats we are about to see.

7) In eight years (maybe even four) the Democrats will likely have squandered their power either from infighting or corruption much the way the GOP did. If so, it may benefit a young moderate (gay) Republican running for his first state office.

There. Oh, I just remembered that I need refill my Xanax prescription.