Washington D.C. is a funny place where things are usually what they seem, but those who live and move and breathe in it’s rarefied air only occasionally acknowledge things as they are. That leaves most of us publicly and/or privately scratching our heads, wondering whether reality is unwinding (ahem) or those we cast our votes for are liars or just naive.
I have been lately thinking about the countless millions who must be walking around confused, thoughts spinning, scratching heads over what is shaping up to be more of the same from the candidate of change living behind the hallowed White Walls at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Just like those two men, walking to Emmaus post-crucifixion, you can actually hear dreams deflating at the Huffington Post and Daily Kos (not so much at the Kos)… “we had hoped that he was the one who would redeem… ”
In reality, what we’ve seen splashed across the daily news every day so far is simply the implications of electing a flashy, brash, unproven charismatic personality. Atleast three of his appointments are tax frauds (Timothy Geithner skated through to be Treasury Secretary, Tom Daschle & Nancy Killefer withdrew as Secy of Health & Human Services and Chief Performance Czar respectively). He promised to not appoint lobbyists to his White House, and so far he’s only appointed 17. He’s castigated the American people for their carbon footprint, all the while keeping the White House heat cranked up. He asks us to tighten our belt and serves $100/pound beef.
There are definitely a couple of talking points here that are really, really significant:
- What you’ve done matters: Obama won the rhetoric battle this past campaign season. Unfortunately, his rhetoric didn’t match his record. He made our hearts flutter and Chris Matthews legs tingle, but whether it’s because of the media or because of the masses didn’t clamor for it, what Barack Obama had actually done was never allowed to become an issue. Obama’s never been anything but a rabid, leftist partisan. His record in the Illinois Senate shows that, and his microscopically short tenure in the U.S. Senate only reveals that he’d been running for President since day one, so he steered clear (Present) of any actual votes. President Obama is exactly what he’s always been. A radical Democrat.
- Truly left-leaning Democrats are elitists: By that, I mean there is an intrisic belief that they are better than (or at very least smarter than) the rest of us in most ways, so they don’t actually have to play by all the rules that we have to. The Speaker of the House doesn’t feel the need to get involved in the Pop Culture she was elected to represent. The man who will run the Treasury can’t be expected to pay his taxes, neither can the appointed Secretary of Health & Human Services and other high ranking officials. The God of Green, Al Gore thinks nothing of fanning the flames of fear & frenzy over global warming while racking up a $30,000 utility bill. John Edward’s briefly ran for President to dismantle the two America’s dichotomy from the comfort of his 30,000 square foot estate. They tell you what they want you to hear, whether or not it’s true, or whether or not they actually believe it themselves.
- The Ends don’t always justify the means – Elections make people say crazy things. They have a tendency to draw out inflated claims of power and potential. It seems to be a unique belief on the left that whatever needs to be said to gain power is acceptable. This goes back to the elitism above. They are so convinced that they know something we don’t, so convinced that they hold they keys of knowledge and understanding that the only hope we as a uinverse have is to get them elected. So if they have to stretch truth or appoint “indispensable” tax cheats to head the Treasury after promising reform in Washington, it makes little difference. What matters is that “The One” is in office.
- Principles matter: Precisely because of all these things, principled leadership is crucial. Well established principles do the right thing, even if it’s not politically expedient. Principled leadership is what drove President Bush to leave office as possibly the most unpopular President in history. I disagree with many of the decisions that he made (especially at the end), but to look back, he did exactly what he said he was going to do to the best of his ability. He was guided by his principles. So far, it seems President Obama is being guided by his lack of them.