Monday, January 19, 2009

Meet the New Double Standard, Same as the old Clintonian Double Standard

In the interest of fairness, I've been trying to hold off on formulating an initial opinion on the Obama presidency until such time as he is actually, well, President. I'd say today is close enough to the end of the transition period that I can reflect back on it and share a few personal observations. First and foremost, it appears that any hopes that I had been harboring that Obama would be held to the same standards that Bush was are going to go unfulfilled. The evidence of an extreme double standard is already stacking up.

I first became aware of this as Obama was selecting candidates for his cabinet and associated positions. Promises of a break from the old K-Street to 1200 PennAve casting model which brought professional lobbyists into positions of more direct influence died without much of a whimper, the press reporting in more of an "Oh, isn't that cute" manner.

Other examples are not the least bit hard to come by. "I will close Gitmo on the first day" has become "Hey, this is really rather complicated - I might need some more time." Now don't get me wrong: I've never bought into the press hype about Gitmo being no better than Saddam's torture rooms. I've read articles penned by people that actually went to Gitmo and provided more truthful and rational descriptions than the "run with the pack" press. I think it's perfectly fine to hold the current tenants until such time as they are no longer a threat as long as they are provided form of judiciary hearing. The fact that it is a military hearing does not bother me in the least; it's the same judicial process our soldiers would go through, or near enough to it to suit me.

My problem is not with Obama's new ostensible recognition that perhaps Gitmo is the best solution to a difficult issue. No, I welcome that. My problem is the duplicity. Obama spent two years decrying our efforts there, not to mention his efforts to force us into an ignominious surrender and ensuing defeat in Iraq. As a Senator, had he ever attempted to, you know, act in that capacity, he would have had access to every bit of data needed to fully understand why Gitmo is what it is. In fact, he could have gone there, at no cost to himself. He had to know that things there were not as described by the Bush-hating press. Yet he still used Gitmo as an issue with which to bludgeon our president and, more importantly, demean our military.

Sure, that's just politics as usual. But you see, there was one promise made by candidate Obama that he could have fulfilled without depending on a recalcitrant Congress: a change to the way we do political campaigning. Instead, he followed the same tired path, and along the way set new low standards for corruption in campaign contributions (lax or non-existent verification of credit card contributions), cherry-picking and decontextualization of statements (we'll be fighting a war in Iraq for 100 years), and slimy tactics (ask Hillary). The double standard applied by the press swept all of this under the rug and they now proclaim in their reporting that the Obama Campaign was the cleanest ever.

Still, that's water under the bridge. We will turn the page tomorrow and let bygones be bygones. Perhaps the press and blogosphere will take a fresher and more critical look at the actions of President Obama. Or, perhaps not. They sure don't seem to be nearly as upset with a $100 million plus inauguration (with $15 million being plundered from FEMA emergency funds) as they were with Bush's $40 million soirée just four short years ago.

Oh, and do you remember how Bush was going to create a fascist, dictator state? How he wouldn't relinquish control at the end of his term(s)? About how the evil Republicans would rule us all, forever and ever, Amen? How about this, then:



1st Session

H. J. RES. 5

Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States to repeal the twenty-second article of amendment, thereby removing the limitation on the number of terms an individual may serve as President.


January 6, 2009

Mr. SERRANO introduced the following joint resolution; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary


Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States to repeal the twenty-second article of amendment, thereby removing the limitation on the number of terms an individual may serve as President.

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled (two-thirds of each House concurring therein), That the following article is proposed as an amendment to the Constitution of the United States, which shall be valid to all intents and purposes as part of the Constitution when ratified by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several States within seven years after the date of its submission for ratification:


‘The twenty-second article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed.’.

You will no doubt be shocked, shocked to learn that the sponsor of this bill is Rep. Jose Serrano, Democratic Representative from the 16th NY district.

I simply cannot wait to hear the press reporting on this bill, but for what should be obvious reasons I suspect that it might be a good idea to not hold my breath. It will surely be drowned out by the cacophonic screams over any pardons the departing president has the temerity to make. Puerto Rican terrorists? Sure! On-the-lam felon? Why not! Scooter Libby? TRAVESTY!!