General12 Dec 2008 07:55 pm

I must begin by apologizing for the title of this post, but I’ve been chuckling to myself on this word play for months now. I couldn’t resist finally using it.

I want to start by saying I have nothing personally against Obama, in fact, I find him to be an enjoyable and articulate well intentioned person. I also want to say that I don’t want to be lumped into the general crowd who always hate one party or candidate while loving the other.

Those who regularly read my posts know that I see little difference between the two parties and desire structural change in our political system. In a previous post I explained that I felt any candidate expressing true change or promised to rock the status quo would not be allowed to win the nomination of either party. The character assasinations and marginalization of people such as Ron Paul, Dennis Kucinich, and Howard Dean are just the three most known  examples over the last two elections.

Now I realize that many of those who voted for Obama feel that he is a true reformer, and even think of him as a political redeemer. Yet, his earliest actions seem to refute that conception and support my view that he must be a status quo kind of guy in reformer clothes (ala Bill Cinton).

A quick look at Obama’s cabinet and inner circle of advisors is all it takes to dispel any serious notion of him being a true breath of fresh air and reformer of the US political system.

His words of change and hope are greatly belied by his choice of cabinet members. While Obama talks of an overhaul of our elitist form of economics and a desire to close the gap between have and have nots, he has surrounded himself with the very policy makers which appear responsible for the current credit and economic crisis.

As a solution to our being viewed as a bully in the middle east incapable of respecting the sovereignty of the regions nations and being a lap dog of Israel Obama retains the current Secretary of Defense and has Ms. Clinton as Secretary of State. In foreign news papers Hillary is often cited as one of the most biased pro-Israel politicians in the US. Add to this Obama’s inflammatory rhetoric towards Iran, and his hawkish comments regarding Afghanistan and you have a hard time exiting the status quo. Even Obama’s hackneyed statements regarding “terrorists” and “the war on terrorism” do little to foster a new culture of change and hope.

The more I see and the more I hear, its just (same ol’, same ol’).

I hear many people defending Obama and saying he had to appoint these people, and had to make those statements in order to get people to work for him. True visionaries don’t have to lower their standards, they raise everyone elses. Am I to believe that these were the only qualified people available? Even if Obama didn’t know of any emerging great minds in economics or middle east politics couldn’t he have gone to any respected university and asked professors if they had any students over the past decade which showed promise to be a gifted thinker?

I can’t think of a single successful reformer who accomplished significant change by surrounding him/herself with in-crowd status quo leaders. I do realize that balance and diversity are important ingredients in good government. I’m not saying that every member of Obama’s inner circle needs to be a visionary, or a liberal or even a democrat. All I’m saying is that if your looking for a new menu, you need to have a few new chefs.

All we appear to be doing is building a house using the same materials we’ve been using for decades. Or a more timely analogy is building new cars with the same old parts.

Jim Guido

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