Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Change is slow at DoD

So, now the report is that President-Elect Obama will likely re-appoint Bush Secreary of Defense Robert Gates. After what we've seen so far, this is starting to get alarming.

Sure, this is the Bush-Cheney Pentagon that Obama is taking over. It needs work. There's the whole issue of declining US power and influence and continued risk of violent terrorism. And we know the Bush-Cheney Pentagon has been involved in all manner of scandal; torture, anti-Constitutional practices at Guantanamo Bay; waste, fraud, abuse with taxpayer funds and war profiteering. Oh, and where's Osama?

So, if President Obama needs to have a short transition period at Defense with Gates while fighting the economic battles at home, I could live with it. If this is what it takes to bring the Bush-Cheney military under civilian control of a different sort, perhaps we need to do it. (Though the military does have an oath and obligation to the Constitution to follow civilian authority).

Let's consider though, if Obama is going this far to include Republicans, how far will he go to include liberals? I mean, so far we've had the Lieberman bailout he brokered, the record Citigroup bailout his new Treasury signed off on, the increasingly possible return of Clinton Triangulation, and a hawk at Secretary of State.

Here's hoping that the new politics President Elect Obama will display also include a rejection of the typical Democratic “scorn the base” approach, used by Clinton and his followers. We can have hope, at least, and perhaps the deeds.

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