Doin’ Okay, Sort Of (Oct. 19, 2009)

The O’Bama administration has now gestated for nine months.  His campaign cobbled together a consortium of often conflicting constituencies, so some if not many disappointments in many quarters are inevitable.  O’Bama is challenging so many entrenched interests and discovering that even the President is hamstrung by other institutions and individuals.  He has been informed regarding those he must consult before a decision is made.

Most of the appointments to date are appointing (Clinton, Holder, Gates, Locke, Salazar, Shinseki, Chu, Bernanke*); a few are very disappointing (Geithner, Summers, Bernanke*).  Appointing solid heads at three (State, Justice, Defense) of the Big Four agencies (Treasury) is a positive start.  Sotomayer is a skilled and sound jurist.  O’Bama’s creation of the Council of Goldman Sachs Advisors (CGSA) will prove disastrous.  And some things don’t change.  The revolving door of appointees becoming lobbyists and vice versa does not seem to have stopped spinning.  His administration is full of technicians and devoid of intellectuals.

His two books are in part veiled campaign literature.  His exam questions and answers as a law professor at the University of Chicago in his early years are much more revealing.  He never wrote anything lengthy commenting on the work of the economists at Chicago, favorable or unfavorable.  He may continue a long line of Americans, in and out of government, who really do not understand economics.

He has now taken title to the two wars.  If there is a strategy or are strategies, it or they should be shared.  America simply cannot afford to maintain its empire and must focus its finite energy and limited resources on national interests.  He dissed the Dalai Lama and disregarded America’s uncertain commitment to human rights to keep from disappointing America’s Banker, China.

Instead of awarding the Nobel Peace Prize as a golden watch to a septuagenarian, the Committee awarded it to a person who is creating golden opportunities in the September of his life on his watch.  The Committee awarded aspiration rather than perspiration.  He is working hard.  Much is left to be done.  He now has the international gravitas to remind the world that peace is only possible if, in some circumstances, the right war is pursued purposefully.  Yes, others were more deserving and likely will not be around to receive the prize.  And of course those who want America to be at war everywhere all the time remain furious.

The Olympics?  O’Bama offered his dos centavos.  The Committee decided to award it to Rio.  Great choice.  South America has never hosted the Olympics.  He did not fail.  The process worked.

A second term is somewhat akin to a second marriage, the triumph of hope over experience.  By 2012, experience may triumph over hope.  A campaign to maintain let alone expand his Party’s numbers in the early stages of the Depression II will be as great a challenge in 2010 as getting elected was in 2008.

Bumper sticker of the week:

Still hopeful

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