Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The A Plan

What do we know?

We know that Barack Obama will be the next President of the United States. (Until the past week there was a slim chance that McCain might have the savvy and guts to seize this opportunity and playact something like leadership. But instead he playacted something like Claribelle – with Palin taking on the role of Mortimer Snerd.)

We know that President Obama will have a Democratic House and Senate of 1936 proportions. We know that he will inherit a mess of 1932 proportions. We know that he is no FDR… no Harry Truman… no Bill Clinton. Perhaps he’s a Jimmy Carter. Perhaps.

We know that his administration will be overwhelmed with digging out of the fathoms-deep swamp into which the Bushies have driven the family car. We know that they will be attempting to do so without many of the tools of a healthy government and society. Those tools – along with the trust and knowledge to wield them effectively – have been melted into hood ornaments by the right-wing, anti-government radicals.

It will be cold comfort to send a couple of these wingnuts – probably the pathetic, sub-ideological lapdog Alberto Gonzalez and a couple of others – to jail. It would even be useless to convict W and Cheney themselves – and, of course, that won’t happen. The Democrats are conservatives, and conservatives don’t do that stuff. Conservatives circle the wagons, calm the waters, reassure us that order has been reasserted, push the dirty laundry back under the bed and keep the family’s mess out of public view.

(We also know that the Republican Party will remain a drooling basket case for a decade or more… for whatever that’s worth.)

We know that this mess won’t be cleaned up by the time the next electoral cycle comes around. We know the ebbing of America’s competitive standing will have accelerated – helped along by politically irresistible forces of protectionism. Sensible people will point out that we were not destined to remain a hegemon anyway – but that won’t matter much politically. So a Carteresque malaise will settle over the land – only to be disrupted, perhaps, by terror, as the resurgent (and possibly nuclear-armed) anti-modernist forces of jihadism obey nature’s imperative of abhorring a vacuum. (Certainly the Chinese, Indians and other surging innovation powerhouses will not be shrinking economic violets, either.)

We know that neither Obama nor his advisors nor the “leadership” of the soon-to-be-dominant Democratic Party has a clue as to what to do about any of this – lacking any visible point of view on where the world is going or how to react to that.

That’s what we know. What do we hope?

We hope that they will turn to the only apparent grown-ups around… the Clintons and their brain trust. We hope that Hillary and Bill will be solicited to take ex-officio leadership roles in shaping the economic recovery plan, including its necessary components of healthcare reform, energy technology and global strategy.

We hope that Hillary and Bill will continue to act like adults and dedicated public servants, despite the past behavior and continuing shallowness of the jackals who scorned them and now sue them for help. We hope that they will put the trashing of the real Democratic Party behind them. We thus hope that the misogyny of the primaries – which the DNC, the Obama campaign and the pro-Obama media and shrillosphere permitted, abetted, engaged in -- will be rewarded.

That’s what we know, and what we hope. That’s Plan A.


Palomino said...

That's hoping for a lot. But isn't hope Obama's stock-in-trade? We'll see, won't we?

Falstaff said...

Yep. And, of course, there is also Plan B...

David Berger said...

I will say this, as a republican whose faith has been shaken to its core: the comparisons to Reagan/1980 are increasingly apparent. RR took office at a time when the economy was truly a shambles, confidence in government was at a low ebb, and our standing in the world was at an all-time low. Reagan managed to turn much of this around, and proved that leadership does, indeed, matter.

Now, the difference of course is that Reagan had toiled in the political and intellectual salt mines for 20 years before he assumed the presidency. He came in with a clarity of purpose and an understanding of how the levers of government could be used to accomplish those ends. Obama... not so much.

I'm not necessarily sure that he needs to turn to Clinton's team. But he needs to know to surround himself with strong, accomplished leaders. To begin with, keep Gates at defense. Turn to someone like Ken Lewis at Treasury (Rubin lost much credibility during his tenure at Citibank.)

However, I do believe that Obama's ego is so overwhelming that he'll never settle for becoming "first among equals." And that some of his Alinsky-inspired roots will soon show.

Good Lord, what a debacle.

Falstaff said...

I don't think his Alinsky ties are really 'roots.' More like souvenirs (ones he hid in the attic a long time ago).

As you know, I disagree on Reagan -- but I won't dive into that debate here. I'd only say that, like many others, I think we need an FDR, and I think we had an FDR... and these putzes kicked her to the curb. (Indeed, they didn't even have the guts to deliver that kick to her face. They -- the DNC -- sucker-punched her.)

And now our best hope is that she'll once again prove her toughness by doing what's right for the country, despite benefiting the hateful boyz who spat on her.

Could Obama seize the moment and emerge, against all expectation, as an actual leader? I suppose so, but I wouldn't bet on it.

Anonymous said...

I don't think it is fair to blame it on the Bushies, as you say. This shit started with Reagonomics. "Trickle down economics." More like piss on the little guy.

Mike J. said...

If you are looking for political analogues to Obama, I have one for you: Herbert Hoover.