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Wednesday: Whoa! I didn’t see *that* coming.

Wishful thinking...

Wishful thinking...

William Greider opens his column in The Nation entitled Past and Future with this realization:

A year ago, when Barack Obama said it was time to turn the page, his campaign declaration seemed to promise a fresh start for Washington. I, for one, failed to foresee Obama would turn the page backward. The president-elect’s lineup for key governing positions has opted for continuity, not change. Virtually all of his leading appointments are restoring the Clinton presidency, only without Mr. Bill. In some important ways, Obama’s selections seem designed to sustain the failing policies of George W. Bush

This is not the last word and things are changing rapidly. But Obama’s choices have begun to define him. His victory, it appears, was a triumph for the cautious center-right politics that has described the Democratic party for several decades. Those of us who expected more were duped, not so much by Obama but by our own wishful thinking.

HELLO?!? The $600,000,000 campaign fund didn’t smack you hard enough?  Mr. Greider goes on to lament that appointing Tim Greithner as Treasury Secretary may not be sending a strong enough message to Wall Street as Greithner has been a weak regulator of the firms in the past.

{{sigh}}

What did these people see in Obama?  I swear they never looked past his skin color.  That was the magic bullet.  Everything was going to Change! because this smooth, polished Harvard educated lawyer was going to secretly govern like Jesse Jackson?

When I saw all of the presidential candidates in August 2007, with the exception of Biden, the one I was least impressed with was Obama.  He sat on the stage during the forum and looked positively bored.  He didn’t say anything novel or interesting or inspiring.  He wasn’t controversial or witty.  He was like matter: he had mass and took up space and that was just about it.  How so many people took that flavorless tofu of a man and constructed a light filled being empowered by magical beans to turn the country into a land of liberal warm fuzzies is testament to the creativity that brought America to the edge of financial collapse.  If it is possible to turn Barack Obama into a wunder pres, just think how quickly we will be able to solve the energy crisis!  Global warming?  Imagine it away.

Mr. Greider should remember how the Bush era began.  It was by outright thievery.  The election was stolen from Al Gore by the brotherly love of the Governor of Florida, Brooks Brothers Riot and the media Haka that prepared the public for Gore’s eventual defeat at the hands of a politicized Supreme Court.  It should come as no surprise that the Bush era is ending with thievery on a scale that Atilla the Hun would envy.  And this year, we have another politician who made deals with the power elite to jump ahead of the queue.  But in this case, the feat was accomplished by not just screwing over half of his base.  That wasn’t enough.  No, this time, the party itself decided to give us a teachable moment on race relations.  Obama was shoved down our throats for our own good.  THEY knew better than US.   Expect Obama’s style of governing to be remarkably similar.  When the recession finally hits and tough choices have to be made, do not expect that you will be spared, Mr. Greider.  Obama knows what’s best for you, even if you have to suffer.  It will build your character.  It has been decided for you.  Your vote and opinion will not be needed now, just like it wasn’t needed in the primary.  And it is all entirely predictable.

Nothing good ever comes of a bad seed.