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

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Yet more reflections on a "bad week"

There was plenty of hope for change with the new Administration, but was that hope misplaced?

Who needs Rush when simple missteps do damage?

More nominations come to grief | Another two bite the dust | The Economist:

"Throughout two years of high-flown speechifying he promised to clean the Augean stables of Washington, close the revolving door between power and money and raise ethical standards. In his inaugural address, he announced the dawn of a new “era of responsibility”; on his first day in office he unveiled a package of tight ethical guidelines, though they didn’t last long.

The failure of no fewer than three nominees for high office to pay all their taxes has scrambled this message. Aren’t liberals supposed to believe that government is a good thing? And aren’t people who are being considered to run big departments supposed to be able to run their own financial affairs? (Mr Geithner, who had such trouble understanding the tax code, is now the man in charge of the Internal Revenue Service.) During the presidential campaign, Joe Biden declared that richer Americans had a patriotic duty to pay higher taxes; back in 1998 Mr Daschle opined that “tax cheaters cheat us all, and the IRS should enforce our laws to the letter.” Now Democratic insiders were giving the impression that they think that taxes are just for the little people."

And Nancy isn't happy about cuts to a 900 BILLION package
Pelosi Calls Cuts to Stimulus Bill ‘Very Damaging’ - The Caucus Blog - NYTimes.com:

And Gail opines:
Op-Ed Columnist - Tough Times at Obama Inc. - NYTimes.com:
"How could so many cabinet nominees get into trouble? The Obama transition team was supposed to be so organized! Did their seven-page questionnaire ask about Facebook pages but not tax liens?"

And from Peggy Noonan (speach writer for Regan)

Peggy Noonan Sees America Preparing for the Worst, and Republicans Suddenly Seem Serious - WSJ.com:

"Mr. Obama has a talent for reviving his enemies. He did it with Hillary Clinton, who almost beat him after his early wins, and who was given the State Department. He has now done it with Republicans on the Hill. This is very nice of him, but not in his interests. Mr. Obama should have written the stimulus bill side by side with Republicans, picked them off, co-opted their views. Did he not understand their weakness? They had no real position from which to oppose high and wasteful spending, having backed eight years of it with nary a peep.They started the struggle over the stimulus bill at a real disadvantage. Then four things: Nancy Pelosi served up old-style pork, Mr. Obama swallowed it, Republicans shocked themselves by being serious, and then they startled themselves by being unified. But it was their seriousness that was most important: They didn't know they were! They hadn't been in years!

One senses in a new way the disaster that is Nancy Pelosi. She was all right as leader of the opposition in the Bush era, opposition being joyful and she being by nature chipper. She is tough, experienced, and of course only two years ago she was a breakthrough figure, the first female speaker. But her public comments are often quite mad—we're losing 500 million jobs a month; here's some fresh insight on Catholic doctrine—and in a crisis demanding of creativity, depth and the long view, she seems more than ever a mere ward heeler, a hack, a pol. She's not big enough for the age, is she? She's not up to it."

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