Have historical cycles turned faster? I’ve lived a short twenty-eight years and it seems, since waking memory, that time flies forward faster and faster. It seems patterns are repeating too quickly. Or is it merely that in the environment of information overload, patterns are just too easy to see?
Last night on FxN Dick Morris started to issue a warning to us, and perhaps to the Obama administration, during a discussion on H&C. Regarding the Rahm Emanuel pick, he summoned the memory of Dick Gephardt. I paraphrase Morris:
I asked him [Clinton] to bring in some Republicans in his cabinet. Gephardt told him, that if he kept his cabinet within the party, Gephardt’s majority will back him in Congress. This caused so much bitterness among Republicans that they supported none of his bills. Gephradt then kept on making more and more leftward demands, and Bill couldn’t get the votes he needed.
Perception of selection of Rahm Emanuel among Conservatives has started to coalesce into two camps: one, that Rahm will enforce ideology upon policy by being the Bad Cop to those Republicans who are lucky enough to have a place in BHO’s court. Glenn Reynolds, on the other hand, thinks it’s to keep away the hungry masses to whom he promised bread. I’m more on Glenn’s side on this. The GOP would be lucky to have a seat at the master’s table, considering how GWB has historically shared power (which he didn’t). I defended GWB’s isolation of the Democrats back then. I won’t be inconsistent.
But, just to be naive, for just one moment. This obscure writer would like to propose something to BHO. If he is serious about “ending” the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and by “ending” I mean in victory, he should keep Robert Gates for maybe two years. If he is serious about having a strong, but “respectful” ForPol, he should keep Condi, if but for two years, to temper his dovishness and show our enemies that he is serious about our standing in the world, not as subjugate to them but as a “member.” (Yes, it can be done.) But of course even if someone sent him handwritten letter begging for this to happen, even if it were a majority of moderate Democrats [HAH!] in Congress, he wouldn’t listen. Because he’s a political animal from Chicago and the only way he knows is the Chicago way.