"History is a wonderful thing, if only it was true"

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Are some feeling let down already?

I was able, due in large part to travel and travel delays, to get caught up on some reading
Posting some pieces from the Economist (my favorite single magazine).

This one from Jan 24th on politics, the Lexington column
I'd posted previously on expectations ... might have been a bit high

Betrayed by Obama | The Economist:

"It has been only two-and-a-half months since Mr Obama was elected, but his “Yes, We Can” coalition is already fraying at the edges. In his appointments and pronouncements, Mr Obama keeps hinting that he is neither as radical nor as pure as his progressive supporters dared to hope. Anti-war activists, who rallied round him in the Democratic primaries because he was the only top-tier candidate to have opposed the Iraq war from the outset, now see worrying signs that their hero is a closet hawk. On the stump, he used to say things like: “I will bring this war to an end in 2009. So don’t be confused.” Now he says it might take a bit longer. To make matters worse, he has kept George Bush’s defence secretary, Robert Gates, in his job. “Not a single member of Obama’s foreign-policy [and] national-security team opposed the war,” fumes Katrina vanden Heuvel, the editor of the Nation, a lefty magazine, adding that Mr Gates is “a terrible pick”."

and then this :

"On anti-terrorism policy generally, Dick Cheney, the former vice-president, recently remarked that before Mr Obama started to keep his campaign promises, he needed “to sit down and find out precisely what it is we did and how we did it.” Mr Obama described this as “pretty good advice”. The people who used to flock to his rallies with placards demanding that Mr Bush and Mr Cheney be tried as war criminals are aghast, not least because Mr Obama appears disinclined to prosecute anyone.

For the left, the list of Mr Obama’s betrayals—real or anticipated—is getting longer. His economic advisers are nearly all centrists. Far from bringing capitalism to heel, he is planning to save it. His choice for attorney-general, Eric Holder, used to work for big corporations, making him a “poster-child for…selling out,” grumbles David Corn of Mother Jones, a progressive magazine. Unions fret that Mr Obama will not campaign hard enough to increase their clout. Greens worry that he will not move fast enough to rescue the planet. The National Organisation for Women complains that his economic-stimulus package will pump too much money into male-dominated industries such as construction, leaving only scraps for teachers and social workers."

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