‘EXPERIENCE’ AND ‘MATURITY,’ ANYONE?
Digby explains why experience and maturity– the qualities that are supposedly embodied by the Beltway veterans being installed in the incoming Obama regime– are often overrated, and, pertaining to at least one of the major issues facing the U.S. over the last few decades, counterproductive. Counterproductive, that is, unless you like the thought of spilling countless gallons of foreign brown people’s blood and stealing their treasure. I suggest you read Digby’s analysis.
If there is a bright side to what Obama is doing, it is certainly completely obscured at the moment. Perhaps D.C. retreads like Larry Summers and Hillary Clinton might miraculously all decide that now they have the power to atone for the multitude of sins they’ve committed in their areas of expertise. I don’t see that happening. Another remote possibility is that Obama will go to the familiar veteran names for now, then fire them all in favor of knowledgeable experts who haven’t spent their whole careers reaching toward some imaginary and ever-right-shifting ‘center’ (or going straight to the right without pretense). I don’t see that happening, either, but, then, I don’t normally give myself over to too much Hope™.
I believe that Barack Obama may be a fundamentally decent human being who decided at some point to run for the office of POTUS. That decision seems to require decent people to cast aside much of their decency for sake of ‘realism’ and ‘pragmatism,’ which usually means kowtowing to a status quo that favors bloodthirsty imperialists and greedy financiers. I realize that after eight years of Bush II, many voters might be feeling like the character in an Eddie Murphy stand-up routine who hasn’t eaten for so long that, to him, a saltine cracker is a gourmet feast. But those who (before the presidential election cycle kicked into high gear) were longing for the competency and sobriety of the Clinton administration should remember that much of what the Bushies pulled off was primed or set up by Clinton policies, or at the very least predated Clinton and was left to fester during his years.
What I am suggesting, before I ramble too much further, is that what we need is a drastic shift from the way things have been done for the past few decades. We need stricter regulation in the financial sector, and we need prosecutions or some other kind of concrete accountability for those who’ve broken whatever laws or regulations were still breathing at the time of their acts. We need prosecutions up to the highest levels for those who authorized and ordered illegal detentions, kidnapping, torture, and murder (in the name of ‘national security,’ of course). We need single-payer health care; we need to shut down the exploding private military industry; and we need to do so much more if we are going to survive the next few decades as a viable democratic republic. What I’m seeing out of the incoming Obama administration, however, is just the ‘maturity’ that comes with ‘experience.’ In other words, more of the same. They’ll competently hold the Clintonian line: they’ll stick to the domestic and foreign policy conventions of the past and do it with smiling faces toward all (including the criminals and their enablers). Meanwhile, the entropy that was accelerated under Bush II waits for no man. The structural decay and sabotage will not be addressed, and we will continue to collapse under our own weight. And when that reaches the point that our corporate media and our own dulled senses can no longer ignore, what will we do?