Not change, but more of the same

November 23, 2008

What kind of change can we expect from a President Obama?  Not much.

President-elect Barack Obama has answered bipartisan calls for the disbandment of the White House office central to the Karl Rove-style politics the Democrat condemned as a candidate. The office stays.

Patrick Gaspard, a New Yorker and longtime labor operative, will head the Office of Political Affairs, the Obama transition announced on Friday.

First, let me point out that the fact that it was a Republican that created this office (and the much-revered Reagan, to boot) is despicable.  The government has absolutely no right to confiscate taxpayer money for political purposes.

What do defenders of the office claim it’s value is?

But others, particularly those who’ve served in previous presidential administrations, have defended the office, saying the nation’s chief executive needs someone in the White House to give him a sense of the political impact of policies and legislation.

If you have a President whose staff is unable to “give him a sense of the political impact of policies and legislation,” then you have a pretty incompetent President.

We’ll see much partisan sniping about this office, particularly as it appears that Obama has broken (yet another) campaign promise.  However, what Republicans should be focusing on is the fact that this office should not exist, regardless of who the President is.  Rather than putting all of the attention on Obama’s broken promise, Republicans should be explaining to the American people how they’re being robbed for political purposes.

Of course, the chances of this happening are pretty slim.  To do so would mean criticizing Reagan as well as both Bushes, and we all know that our current GOP won’t criticize one of their own.

H/T: Patterico


Holder is anti-2nd Amendment

November 22, 2008

I just wanted to draw some attention to this:

As Deputy Attorney General, Holder was a strong supporter of restrictive gun control. He advocated federal licensing of handgun owners, a three day waiting period on handgun sales, rationing handgun sales to no more than one per month, banning possession of handguns and so-called “assault weapons” (cosmetically incorrect guns) by anyone under age of 21, a gun show restriction bill that would have given the federal government the power to shut down all gun shows, national gun registration, and mandatory prison sentences for trivial offenses (e.g., giving your son an heirloom handgun for Christmas, if he were two weeks shy of his 21st birthday).

Guantamo silliness

November 22, 2008

That Obama is talking about closing the prison at Guantamo is no surprise, as it was a campaign promise repeated often during the race.  Powerline takes a look at a piece appearing in the Weekly Standard by Tom Joscelyn regarding the detainees and makes the following comment:

With respect to the fourteen “high value” detainees at Gauntanamo Bay, in particular, there is no good way to house them after that facility has been closed down. Perhaps the most appropriate course would be for the Bush administration to shoot them before Obama takes office.

Obama finds himself in the unfortunate position of reality meeting his rhetoric.  Obama made quite a few promises during the campaign that he is now going to have to make good on in order to keep his followers enthralled.  The reality of governing is going to prove to be very tricky sledding for Obama.  The Guantanamo example is an obvious one, but I’m confident that many more will reveal themselves as the Obama Presidency unfolds.

UPDATE: I just came across this: Expert: Closing Gitmo ‘Not An Easy Process’

Althouse on Obama’s leaky transition

November 22, 2008

A great point from an Obama supporter:

Hmmm…. remember all the arguments about how Obama’s “executive experience” as the head of a political campaign provided a basis for judging his capacity to serve as President? Now, we’re seeing his performance as the head of the transition, and it looks quite different.

Don’t ask don’t tell

November 22, 2008

Obama is undergoing some criticism for stating that he may not be able to move quickly to reverse the “don’t ask don’t tell” policy regarding gays in the military.  From the Washington Times:

will not move for months, and perhaps not until 2010, to ask Congress to end the military’s decades-old ban on open homosexuals in the ranks, two people who have advised the Obama transition team on this issue say.

Repealing the ban was an Obama campaign promise. However, Mr. Obama first wants to confer with the Joint Chiefs of Staff and his new political appointees at the Pentagon to reach a consensus and then present legislation to Congress, the advisers said.

Andrew Sullivan today posts a reader’s dissent of the criticism of Obama, to which Sullivan responds:

I mereky (sic) wanted to remind people that there are actual servicemembers involved here – defending us, risking their lives, or serving their country. Honoring their service means not treating them as if they were a contaminant.

Here is precisely what I was referencing below, an emotional appeal to designed to bring about results sans a discussion of the very real effects of the policy.  Appealing to our patriotism and love of our military may tug at your heart strings, but it says nothing of the actual policy.

While there may be many reasons to oppose DADT, a very real debate regarding gays in the military can and should take place.  The fact that being openly gay in the military will likely put gays in harm’s way seems to never cross people’s minds.  We’re told it’s about equal rights, whatever that means in this context.

Even if the decision would be made to allow openly gay individuals in the military, a whole new discussion would likely arise regarding what situations they should and should not allow to arise.  Should openly gay men be showering with and sleeping with others of the same sex?  If not, how do you get around that?  What about serving on extended deployments at sea?

DADT, while certainly worth of criticism and evaluation, seems like a semi-reasonable solution to a very real problem.