President-elect Barack Obama is viewed as the political superman. Obama’s Senate Web site includes a picture of him striking a Superman pose in front of a Superman statue. He was depicted as the man-of-steel on covers of Rolling Stone, The Week, and LA CityBeat, to name a few publications.
Some believe Obama came to “the rescue” at a critical time in American history. Considering the damage Bush, et al., have done to the country, anyone else in the Oval Office might be considered as a hero and savior, if that is what one is looking for.
I listened when he said, “Understand where the vision for change comes from … it comes from me” and “Change doesn’t come from Washington, change comes to Washington.”
Then, Obama nominated Hillary Clinton as secretary of state. Nominating Clinton is neither change nor the “change we can believe in.” Nominating Clinton does nothing for the promised transformation of presidential politics. What happened to “higher purpose” and leading the “country in a new direction,” per Obama’s blueprint for change, or the promises of reform and an elevation of ethics?
Nominating Clinton is not change; it is business/politics as usual. Predictably, it was the result of political agreements and negotiations between Obama and the Clintons to benefit each other and not the pragmatic and thoughtful choice he wants you to believe. President Clinton agreed to nine concessions in the deal. Obama supporters are asked again to donate to pay Hillary’s campaign debt. Quid pro quo, Clarice.
Where Superman had kryptonite — the one weakness of the mythic, invulnerable hero — Obama has Clinton-ite. Comic book aficionados know how kryptonite works. It instantly weakens superpowers and can be fatal under prolonged exposure.
Clinton brings a highly questionable political and ethical history to a cabinet position, that is the image of the presidency in the world, and to a new administration claiming to change Washington politics and return a sense of respect and integrity to the Oval Office: Rose Law Firm; Cattle Futures Trading; Chinagate; Billing-gate; Johnny Chung Fundraising Scandal, Travelgate; Filegate; smear campaigns against women disclosing sexual relationships with her husband; campaign finance scandals; Whitewater.
Regardless of the questionable ethics and her degree of involvement in the various scandals, or the forgiveness, denial, and dismissal of her transgressions by Hillary and Obama supporters, appointing Hillary Clinton speaks volumes about Obama’s alleged claims of change, and it is a revealing weakness in his own political super powers and character. Clinton-ite is already having its affects on Superman.
By the way, what is Hillary Clinton’s foreign policy experience? Having admitted she didn’t even read the intelligence assessment prior to authorizing Bush to use military options in Iraq, where’s the outcry from the anti-Bush/war crowd regarding Obama’s selection of a war proponent?
Also, there is the question of the constitutionality of the nomination. Article I, Section 6 of the Constitution states “No senator or Representative shall, during the time for which he was elected, be appointed to any civil office under the authority of the United States which shall have been created, or the emoluments whereof shall have been increased during such time; and no person holding any office under the United States, shall be a member of either house during his continuance in office.” Technically, Hillary can’t serve in the cabinet of the executive branch, because Congress raised the compensation for cabinet positions this past term when Hillary was a member.
Once a constitutional law professor at the University of Chicago Law School, I would assume Obama knows this all too well. I would assume also that the U.S. Constitution matters to someone with his resume. Does the rule of law matter to the new administration? Does it matter to anyone? Not necessarily, when a legislative work-around can be employed, as has been the case in the past — the “Saxbe fix.” Once again, this is business as usual. The House and Senate already quietly rolled the secretary of state’s salary back to the acceptable level.
Considering the above (because there is so much more), this is simply remarkable and unfortunate; and unfortunately, many do not care enough to make the better effort to understand what it really means. It means Obama lied to the American people. It is a lie so big that most would not believe it, or refuse to believe, that someone could have the impertinence and audacity to distort the truth so greatly. And the true believers will continue to believe, no matter the truth. I, however, would “rather stay here with all the madmen than perish with the sad men roaming free,” as David Bowie sang so passionately.
Greg Vargas lives in Santa Monica and drives a Corvair. He is neither a right-wing conspirator nor a left-wing ideologue. He just cares about the truth, as hard as it is to believe sometimes.