I had NPR on my radio headset while walking the dogs out along the shoreline Thanksgiving morning, as they discussed Obama’s cabinet and economic panel selections so far. Both the interviewer and his political pundit agreed that “left wing bloggers” are upset so far about Obama’s choices, and they made much of the irony that conservatives so far are happy with the selections.
While the dogs galloped about joyously, I grit my teeth.
The premise is that Obama is a liberal, of course — portrayed during the campaign as not just a liberal but (gasp) one of the most liberal U.S. senators. Yet now supposedly he is moving right, becoming a centrist, in these selections.
Obama, they agreed, who ran as an agent of change, is opting for experience now, for Gates and Volcker and other insiders who represent continuity, not change.
To quote Charlie Brown: “Oh, good grief.” I changed the station to listen to music instead.
But I couldn’t turn off the voice in my head. Barack is going to be fine as president. He is going to be a progressive. Just because he is bringing in experienced hands doesn’t mean he is changing his course or breaking his word. People, he’s the same guy we elected.
The new administration is going to address global warming and intenational relations in a new way. The neocon’s unilateralism is simply being replaced by a man confident enough in his principles to be able to listen to diverse opinions. Rather than the failed Reagonomics of stratified wealth, Obama will get people working again, middle class people, given jobs restoring our national infrastructure.
Calm yourselves, pundits.
Sometimes I think these people yammer on this way solely to fill space.
Couldn’t they do it to greater advantage by giving us the insightful reportage they do from around the world, on other cultures and ecologies? Okay, they’re not as boneheaded as Fox, which is beyond the pale.
And for that, on this day of giving thanks, I am thankful. Still. As well as NPR usually runs its journalistic course, in going for the easy irony I think they stumbled. Fortunately for us, it was only a brief lunge into silliness, and the quality quickly resumed — for which I do give thanks.