Turns Out "Hope And Change" Meant Hiring The Administration of "The Man From Hope" And Changing The Meaning Of The Word "Change"

I have to concur in part and dissent in part from the commentary on the P-E's cabinet picks and policy announcements. Yes, it is amusing that there are so many Clinton Administration re-treads and rumors of continuation of Bush policies; no, I don't find it reassuring that the Obama administration will be moderate. I was a pro-life lobbyist during the Clinton administration and it wasn't the least bit moderate. (Well, maybe Bill Galston. I'll give them Bill Galston.) Does no one recall Clinton's first moves in office were a handful of Executive Orders (which Obama will give us too) increasing the abortion license, followed by the effort to take over 1/3 of the economy (Hillary care) and the gays-in-the-military/women-in-combat putsch?

The latter two measures failed because of wise Republican manuevering (and Rush Limbaugh), and the backlash lead to the Republican Congress which foisted "moderation" on the Clinton Administration. Welfare reform and other "positives" of the Clinton era was thanks to Newt Gingrich and the Contract With America.

We spent the entire 8 years fighting mean-spirited and nasty little regulations that random bureaucrats cooked up. From top to bottom his administration was Roberta Achtenbergs making the world safe from Christians and Boy Scouts. It is quite disturbing to find our pundit class has no recollection of this.

It's not that Clinton and his people were moderate, it is that their radical plans were foiled. I'm not sure I see anyone foiling Obama's plans. And if you read the story on his delaying the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," there's every reason to believe he learned some strategic lessons from Clinton's overreach. Obama's hand is much stronger going in. Clinton never won a majority, only a plurality, vote; and he never had such Democratic strength in the Senate.

We'll see what happens, but I think I might give up trying to read the Obama tea leaves for Advent. Don't despair yet, Kos-sacks!

I must say, if Obama does turn out to be a moderate who keeps all the Bush policies, the American people will have been massively double-crossed! They voted for a "change" in economic & foreign policy, without really wanting a radical marriage and abortion agenda. And in that case they will get the radical marriage and abortion agenda they didn't want without the other changes they did. Poor Doug Kmiec!

I take issue with El Rushbo this afternoon, too. I caught about 20 minutes of his first hour, during which he played clips from Obama's most recent press conference and mocked him first for intimidating a reporter who asked an off-topic question (good question, fair question, but indeed off-topic). Actually, I think the press should be put in its place; it thinks it rules us and it should be disabused of that notion. If Reagan or Bush had similarly objected to a question, we'd have been cheering.

Then he mocked Obama's response to the question (how can you call all these re-treads "change"?).
The American people would be troubled if I selected a treasury secretary or a chairman of the National Economic Council at one of the most critical economic times in our history who had no experience in government whatsoever," Obama said.

"What we are going to do is combine experience with fresh thinking," he said. "But understand where the vision for change comes from. First and foremost, it comes from me. That's my job, is to provide a vision in terms of where we are going and to make sure then that my team is implementing."

Rush took that as a sign Obama has no clue what he's doing; I take it as a sign he has indeed studied Reagan's methods. Remember how the press always denounced Reagan as a dummy because he didn't get into the details of policy? Reagan's idea of leadership was that he would set the course and then free his people to make it happen. That is good leadership; Jimmy Carter was a policy wonk who not only had bad policies but also micro-managed everything to a fare-thee-well.

All I heard Obama say in his answer was that he had the Reagan, rather than Carter, model of the presidency. Sounded good to me (well, you know, good at the level of effective leadership; chilling at the level of where he will lead us and the thought he might be good at getting us there).