Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Political Interests

The other day on Politico there was a story about why progressives are upset with Obama. Apparently, he's too centrist. Actually, the story was about "liberals" being upset with Obama. I guess I flipped it to progressives because maybe it sounded fringier to me, or maybe because I consider myself a liberal but I'm not upset with Obama's appointments. Not that I know so much to be upset, but I can work myself up into an uneducated rage as well as the next guy. And if only I were Joe the Plumber I could get a book deal for it.

In any case, Frank Rich made a good case for why everyone should stop weeping with joy over Obama's smarty pants cabinet, at least when it comes to economics, seeing as some smarty pants economists (like Clintonite-I-didn't-make-a-mistake Robert Rubin) kind of got us into this mess. Then again, Paul Volker, not Mr. Rubin, is heading up the economic clean-up team. Got the message, Mr. Rich. I'm no longer reflexively cheerleading. But I'm not weeping into my fair trade coffee, either. I'm not the first to make the point I'm about to make: Obama never hid his pragmatism from the public. Obama, like a good politician, is most interested in getting done what he needs and wants to get done. And so, stories about how people are upset with appointments are jsut so much handwringing and foot stamping and, frankly, I get enough of the latter with my 4-year-olds. All told, though, it has me a little off the news. I can't even find the latest New Yorker. Now I'm wondering if I keep writing this same post in different ways -- I'm off the news! Everyone's too excited or too depressed about Obama! I can't take it anymore! Maybe I'm still in my election hangover. A month out it seems excessive, but it's probably the case. So it goes. I'll get a good night's sleep and wake from this dream one of these days. In the meantime, I'm off to Philadelphia.

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