Thursday, November 27, 2008

Where is the Change?

Where is the Change?
By Jerome Grossman

Is it too early to criticize Barack Obama for his program, his appointments, and his policies? He is not yet president but he is dominating the news and influencing markets and foreign-policy as though he had already been inaugurated. At the same time, he tells us that we have only one president at a time and that president is George W. Bush.

Personnel indicates policy, often determines policy, and Obama's appointments are from the establishment on both domestic and foreign affairs. Yet Obama's prime message during his meteoric rise to power was "change". How can establishment figures from both parties install significant change?

Obama’s foreign and military policies will be developed by four power centers: Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, and National Security Adviser, Marine General James Jones. All supported the invasion of Iraq; none advocate immediate withdrawal from that country or revision of US world-wide military involvement.

Obama's economic team is dominated by veterans of the Clinton and Bush administrations, who participated in the repeal of financial regulations, an act that precipitated the current crisis. Robert Rubin guided Citicorp to its current bankrupt position, Lawrence Summers was the prime mover for the repeal and Timothy Geithner is a Bush appointee. How can Obama entrust the American economy to these failures?

During his campaign Barack Obama exhorted the adoring crowds of supporters with, “We are the people we have been waiting for". Well, where are these people? He promised reform ideas for fundamental change of the system. The voters projected on him their personal ideals and idiosyncratic hopes for change. They are sure to be disappointed at Obama’s emphasis on traditional experience by establishment figures who brought us to the current crisis.

And a large part of the Obama vote came from liberals. It's fair to ask, "Where are the liberals in the Obama administration?" Obama is seeking support from conservative Republicans, offers to include their ideas and opinions in his programs, and appoints them to key positions, a process that pushes the Obama agenda in a conservative direction.

Do the liberals have the abilities and experience to manage these bureaucracies, to furnish the necessary ideas? For answers consult the Nobel Prize winners, the faculties of our finest universities, the managers of some of our largest businesses. The liberals are there, in big numbers, but not on Obama’s list.

Obama needs to answer important questions about his administration. Where are the liberals? Where are the people who voted against the war? Where are the prescient who warned against financial deregulation? Where are the advisors who will give Obama a full range of policy options to make him a better problem solver and successful president?


jmsjoin said...

Happy Thanksgiving Guys! I firmly believe Obama at heart is righteous and well intentioned. He absolutely will do the right thing for average Americans, our America, and the world as a whole if given the chance!

He will have to fight the so called war on terror that was instigated and used as a tool to further our global desires and he must battle the allowed failing infrastructure of America and the purposely created financial collapse. The timing of all this coming to a head right now in the perfect storm is no coincidence.

Obama has the right temperament to do this and he will! In my mind and in his own words not only would we criticize him for it but he can not do it with people new to the game of Politics or Washington!

He must out of necessity chose proven leaders in their prospective fields. The change will come from him and he is the purveyor of change! You see what is happening in India and in America and around the world and we are winning nothing but it is just beginning.

We will prevail but Americans and those we are allied with must wake up and realize this is all just beginning!

Anonymous said...

Dr. Grossman, you are absolutely correct in your diagnosis --- this 'sharp right turn' problem is not going to be solved by taking two aspirins and calling in the morning.

Not only could Karl Rove, in his Friday WSJ op-ed, be ’thankful’ about Obama’s pragmatic continuity of Bush’s policies in both a foreign policy of ‘continuing’ imperialist wars ‘abroad’ and a domestic policy of ‘continuing’ economic tyranny and oppression ‘at home’ (which would turn Hannah Arendt over in her grave), but the “best news” is that Obama’s continued support for the ruling-elite ‘corporate financial Empire’ that controls our government and hides behind the facade of its two-party, ‘Vichy’ sham of faux democracy, brings continued great joy on this Thanksgiving Sunday to our talking head ‘Vichy’ MSM media shills on TV and the major newspapers.

What pure joy to see Brit Hume on FOX NEWS, George Will on ABC, and Tom Friedman on NYT all declaring together that the Iraq war has been won, at the end of the glorious Bush neo-con regime, and will be successfully mopped-up with full continuity of the Obama ‘progressive sounding’, but actually pragmatic neo-liberal regime, which they all clearly inform us is absolutely PROVEN by Obama’s FULL CAPITULATION of naming ALL his ‘war cabinet’ (Brit’s actual quote), AND ALL his financial bailout (a k a ‘looting’) cabinet with right-centrists —- an undeniable FACT that no liberal, left, anti-war, anti-corporate, and anti-Empire progressives ANYWHERE dare to publicly dispute; for the simple and obvious reason that it is absolutely TRUE.

Le neocon Roi est mort, vive le neolib Roi!

L’Empire va survivre!


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