“Dude, Where’s My Change?”
That’s what the way-out-there left is currently asking President-elect Obama.
His Clintonite appointees (which include HRC herself!) have already stirred criticism from people who have ‘hoped’ to see ‘Change’ in the White House. (When is it that we will finally be able to use the words ‘hope’ and ‘change’ without thinking about Obama campaign signs anymore?)
Obama and his people have already tried to lower expectations among his fans. No, not only on the messianic parts about healing souls etc., but also on the parts about the economy. (Pop quiz: who said this: “There are no quick or easy fixes to this crisis, which has been many years in the making, and it’s likely to get worse before it gets better”? Answer here.)
Obama says he changed his mind on the Bush tax cuts which are suddenly not such a bad idea after all. He also admits that repealing them would be bad for the economy. One wonders how he will finance his ‘green jobs’ projects and all the other Keynesian tricks he wants to perform.
Also, immediate withdrawal from Iraq is not what Obama believes in anymore. His intial troop withdrawal plans were scheduled to begin long before the surge. Considering this, it is a mystery how people like Gail Collins can call for effectively putting Obama into charge right now rather than wait for January 20, trampling the Constitution in the process. Why give him even more time to make fatally flawed decisions?
Beyond that, the media slowly realises that Gitmo inmates are dangerous people after all and that closing Gitmo is not such a simple task in real life. This will make it easier for Obama to explain why he doesn’t shut down the place right away. He will not shut it soon.
Furthermore, Obama might just keep the level of surveillance powers the Bush administration introduced for national security reasons, he is “unlikely to bring criminal charges against government officials who authorized or engaged in harsh interrogations of suspected terrorists”, and he seems not to want the Army field manual to become the standard for non-Army interrogations after all.
Obama’s treading carefully. For now he looks like a guy who is too timid to change much. But the French Cowboy is not complaining.