Thursday, January 15, 2009
I feel sorry for Barack Obama...and I admire him
I know he probably doesn't feel sorry for himself, and many people won't understand my position, but hear me out. Based on the Washington Post story of December 7th of last year and a variety of similar articles, Barack Obama isn't living up to the expectations of his supporters. Don't get me wrong; he's still loved by millions, but that love isn't as completely unreserved as it was during his campaign for President. In a nutshell, Obama's cabinet picks haven't exactly fit the mold of the standard liberal "progressive" and in fact, many have seemed to be more "centrists". Just as an aside, I've been trying to figure out what a "progressive" is and why such a person would be desirable. To that end, I Googled for definitions. In simplest terms, a progressive is a person who promotes progress and change. Naturally, you have to have some sort of idea of what defines progress, and not all change is necessarily good. Of course, Obama's entire campaign platform was built on the concept of change, and it was assumed that such change would fit the ideas dancing in his supporter's minds and hearts. Based on Obama's decisions to date, there doesn't seem to be a one-to-one correlation between Obama's definition and those of his supporters. I suppose we all have a different idea of what "the Messiah" will do when he comes to power. If you are thinking of the Jewish Messiah or the Christian Christ, you might have some sort of idea, based on the Bible, of what the Messiah will do to "fix the world". I don't think there's any such book or guide available to tell you what to expect from Barack Obama, except perhaps what guides you in your own imagination. Reality, as people are seeing, is somewhat different. After all, Obama has a mind of his own. That means he's quite capable of making his own decisions and I commend him for it. What I see (and I'm not any particular fan of Obama's), is that he's sizing up each position, what qualifications a person needs to be able to fill those positions, and then making his choices based on who can best fill the given roles. That is, he's choosing the best person for the job, regardless of race, creed, color, national origin, or sexual orientation. He's doing what you'd think most "progressives" would just love...he's being completely non-discriminatory. He's not playing favorites. He's not putting more women in cabinet seats because he's worried about meeting some sort of "woman quota". He's not putting more people of color in cabinet seats because he's worried about what people of color will think of him. He's doing what I have always wanted a President to do. It's kind of cool, actually. I feel sorry for Obama, because I can see a time when the "progressives" who supported him, will turn on him like so many rabid dogs who didn't get their ears scratched in exactly the way they expected. Progressives seem to think that if you put the right percentage of "types" of people in high cabinet positions, then everything will work out fine. I'm no mind reader, but from what I can tell just observing Obama's choices in this area, he seems to think that if you put the most qualified people in these positions, then you have the best chance of getting a really good job done. What the heck is everyone complaining about?