Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Growing Pains

I'm confused as to why we're shaking our heads at Obama in utter disappointment over Daschle and Killefer.

Oh, I'm not. It's fun to create heroes and then knock them down.

I believe Obama when he says Daschle was the most qualified person for the job as head of HHS. Is it Obama's fault that Daschle has tax issues? Is it better for Obama to nominate a completely unqualified individual (or even a lesser qualified individual) just because that person has a clean tax record. No one tried to hide his tax evasion. It came up fairly quickly, and, I'm sure, would have been worked out just as quickly. Daschle, I assume, was vetted on his ability to run HHS, not his ability to pay taxes.

I understand Obama, too, when he says it can suggest a double standard. But a.) Washington can't be changed in 15 days, and b.) Change has to start SOMEWHERE. Obama can't change what Daschle did in the past, only what he will do from now on. And isn't that important, too?

And what's this about Daschle being a semi-lobbyist?? Because he worked for a law firm that did business on behalf of lobbyists? According to NPR last night, that makes half of Washington Lobbyists. All congresspeople and ex-congresspeople still have the phone numbers of their colleagues, and will still call them to...y'know...strategize, group, pitch, lobby for certain bills. So if that was the criteria, very few people in Washington would pass that litmus test.

The point is - that ISN'T the criteria. You must be a registered lobbyist and engage in "lobbying contacts" (okay, whatever...?) The critieria's strength, according to NPR, lies in its narrow defintion of LOBBYIST, covering only the most important part of what it is a lobbyist does - actual lobbying.

Not to mention (hat tip Tony) that Obama, not 4 hours after Daschle's announcement, was APOLOGIZING to the American public. Remind me again when Bush apologized for making the wrong appointment (let alone eating cake, while New Orleans drowned.)

We have an expectation that our Politicians are gods. If they make a mistake, we don't want to vote for them. Yet, if they make a mistake and try to talk their way around it, we see through it and we criticize them. Obama's approval rating has "shot down" (to an alarming 66%...66%!! More than twice what Bush spent his last year in office with) because he 'fessed up to a mistake.

We need to grow up.

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