Tuesday :: Dec 23, 2008

Stuff, Or Fluff?

by Deacon Blues

I’ve been tracking the media reaction to Obama’s Rick Warren selection. Aside from the usual chuckling from GOP pundits, some mainstream reporters take the position that the progressive base should STFU and not get agitated over small-ball stuff like this. To them, we should be glad that we have our own president who actually cares about getting out of Iraq, fixing the economy, passing universal health care, and pursuing energy independence. In short, don’t get worked up over symbolism and instead focus on substance.

This coming from hacks who focus way too much every day on horse-race politics and not actual issues, and who still don’t grasp symbolic messaging.

Nonetheless, perhaps our wise Beltway cocktail weenie crowd is correct. Maybe we should focus more on what he accomplishes, and whom he has selected for his cabinet, tangible things, rather than swing at pitches in the dirt like this. For example, what will Obama actually do in Iraq with Bush’s SecDef already cementing in place a long-term presence there, mainly to hold the oil and act as a bulwark against the Iranians, instead of building a regional security and economic compact focused on eliminating Al Qaeda?

Will Obama take a strong stand to stop any further TARP giveaways to Wall Street, and refocus the remaining money to Main Street as part of a major new domestic stimulus package of well over $850 billion?

Will he be actively engaged in a resuscitation of the American auto industry, even to the point of an industrial policy aimed at rebuilding an American manufacturing base around new technologies and energy independence, and an industry that now sees even major Japanese manufacturers here in the states suffer from building too many gas-guzzling trucks?

Will Tom Daschle do more than hold countless town hall meetings on health care, and actually steer through a universal health care package in this Congress, or will Daschle and his lobbyist buddies convince Obama that grand steps can’t be afforded now and only incremental changes are feasible?

So if you had to predict right now, will the Obama first term be one of substance and significance, or one of showmanship and Beltway caution?

Deacon Blues :: 7:55 AM :: Comments (11) :: Digg It!