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Pay no attention to the people behind the curtain

Thursday, November 20, 2008

More heads I win, tails you lose

by folkbum

Among the more frustrating lines of argument from conservatives in Wisconsin and beyond in the last week or so, as Barack Obama's administration is starting to take shape, is that Obama's hiring of people like Tom Daschle (for Health and Huma Services) or Eric Holder (for Attorney General) or Rahm Emmanuel (for Chief of Staff) is not really "change." This is because these folks have previous experience in Washington--Daschle as Senate Majority Leader and Emanuel and Holder in the Clinton Administration. (See complaints by, for example, him and her, though that's by no means the end of it.)

What makes it heads-I-win-tails-you-lose is that the conservatives get to whine and moan about how Clinton-tainted appointees are the opposite of what Obama promised to bring to the White House, which is a fresh, new direction. These "same old Demmie power brokers" may be the best in their field (and most able to accomplish what Obama wants by working closely with Congress), but because we know their names, they're not "change." That's heads.

Tails is that before Obama's election, and before more names were out there than just Emanuel's, the complaint was that Barack Obama was a product of the corrupt Chicago political machine, and that the people he brought with him from Chicago couldn't be trusted, either. In fact, the right was all over David Axelrod (just named Senior White House Advisor) and Emmanuel as being products of that Chicago machine. (See one of he above bloggers hating on Chicago here). Had Obama brought more people with him from Chicago, you know that complaint wouldn't have had to morph into "not change" and could have just stayed "corrupt Chicago."

Clearly, the only way to please the conservative worrywarts would have been for Obama to plop open the Norman, Oklahoma phone book and start calling people at random. Of course, that would probably be cause for them to resurrect that stupid "experience" argument again--and no matter what happens, it's good for Republicans.

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