Obama Shafts Progressives, Campaign Loyalists

Two reports in the British press indicate that Barack Obama has shunted aside key campaign advisors and given the back of his hand to his most ardent supporters in the liberal wing of his party. Leonard Doyle of The Independent reports on the machinations necessary to get Hillary Clinton on board as Secretary of State.

The advisers who helped trash the former First Lady’s foreign policy credentials on the campaign trail are being brutally shunted aside, as the price of her accepting the job of being the public face of America to the world. In negotiations with Mr Obama this week before agreeing to take the job, she demanded and received assurances that she alone should appoint staff to the State Department. She also got assurances that she will have direct access to the President and will not have to go through his foreign policy advisers on the National Security Council, which is where many of her critics in the Obama team are expected to end up.

The first victims of Mrs Clinton’s anticipated appointment will be those who defended Mr Obama’s flanks on the campaign trail. By mocking Mrs Clinton’s claims to have landed under sniper fire in Bosnia or pouring scorn on her much-ballyhooed claim to have visited 80 countries as First Lady they successfully deflected the damaging charge that he is a lightweight on international issues.

Most notable are Greg Craig, who was apparently in line for a major role at State but who instead will be White House Counsel, and Susan Rice, the  Obama campaign’s main foreign policy advisor, who may yet wind up at the NSC.

The Telegraph’s Tim Shipman writes of a backlash from the Netroots.

[H]is preference for General James Jones, a former Nato commander who backed John McCain, as his National Security Adviser and Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano, a supporter of the war, to run the Homeland Security department has dismayed many of his earliest supporters.

The likelihood that Mr Obama will retain George W Bush’s Defence Secretary, Robert Gates, has reinforced the notion that he will not aggressively pursue the radical withdrawal of all combat troops from Iraq over the next 16 months and engagement with rogue states that he has pledged.

Chris Bowers of the influential OpenLeft.com blog complained: “That is, over all, a centre-right foreign policy team. I feel incredibly frustrated. Progressives are being entirely left out of Obama’s major appointments so far.”

Markos Moulitsas, founder of the Daily Kos site, the in-house talking shop for the anti-war Left, warned that Democrats risk sounding “tone deaf” to the views of “the American electorate that voted in overwhelming numbers for change from the discredited Bush policies.”

Oh, and there’s this:

On Friday night, Mr Obama and his wife Michelle revealed that they will send their two daughters Malia and Sasha to the private Sidwell Friends school in Washington, once attended by Chelsea Clinton.

It’s not totally unfair to ask, if this is what they’re going to get, why Hillary Clinton shouldn’t have been the nominee.   At the same time, there’s a Machiavellian shrewdness to all this.  Obama can afford to alienate the Hard Left, especially this far from 2012, so cementing his reputation as a serious person and avoiding the youthful amateurism that many moderates fear is smart politics.

Sure enough, thus far at least, the Netroots are mostly keeping their powder dry.

  • Jerome Armstrong: “My expecations of Obama are pretty much just what he is delivering. If Clinton had been the nominee, she would have chosen Obama as her VP, and we’d probably be seeing Biden as the SoS choice. Despite campaign projection from a lot of progressives that Obama was different in regards to foreign policy, these are centrist Democrats on such matters that are going to be in the White House. Anyone that didn’t realize that was deceiving themselves. […]  I think the strongest progressive hope for Obama remains with more domestic concerns: universal healthcare, new energy priorities, fairer taxation, liberal judges. That’s reason enough for Obama as President. But as far as foreign policy goes in the mid-east, expect more of the same in the short term, with the long term change still a possibility.”
  • Jane Hamsher: “Many people managed to convince themselves that Obama was a genuine, dyed-in-the-wool progressive at some point during the primaries.  For no reason as far as I could tell — his voting record in the Senate was pretty much identical to Hillary Clinton’s, and the people he surrounded himself with weren’t exactly ‘outsiders.’ […] Look, for people who convinced themselves that Obama was the second coming of Saul Alinsky — wake up.  He never was.  He may, however, be the most progressive person we could have possibly hoped to elect as President of the United States.”

The Right, by contrast, is mostly impressed.

  • TigerHawk: “I admit, so far his cabinet picks are better than I had dared to hope. That is not the end of the story by any means. There are thousands of executive branch positions that we rarely hear about, many of which have enormous influence over important matters of policy. Plenty of those will go to very left wing people. Still, the first-string cabinet is a lot more centrist than I would have guessed on November 3, which is good news for the country and probably bad news for those Republicans who are banking on stupid lefty policy blunders to return them to power.”
  • Tom Maguire: “[S]oon enough he will be pulling the rug out from under the ‘anti-war’ Dems by making clear the already obvious, namely, all his talk and posturing about deadlines and forced troop withdrawals from Iraq is no longer operative.”
  • Moe Lane: ” A very common criticism of President Bush is that he is too loyal to his people, often protecting them at the cost of his own personal political capital. I don’t think that this is ever going to be said about President Obama.”
  • DRJ, though, thinks there’s some hope:  “Politicians want to be re-elected but I’m sure it’s disappointing for those who think Obama is a different kind of politician. It’s early — Obama hasn’t even been inaugurated — but the media and blogs are already reporting on campaign promises Obama hasn’t kept. That makes me wonder:I can’t think of any campaign promises Obama has kept. Can you?”  Then again, he’s two months away from inauguration.

George Will, on last Sunday’s “This Week” roundtable, said, “the fundamental attribute of leadership is capacity for robust disloyalty.”  Obama seems to be bearing that out thus far.

via Memeorandum

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is a Security Studies professor at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Mithras says:

    You mean he’s a moderate liberal? But I thought he was a Marxist Nazi. Lots of people on here told me so.

  2. odograph says:

    Funny thing. As Obama ran, I told my conservative friends that I perceived him as a pragmatist, and an economic moderate. They said “no he’s a big liberal.”

    Last week they told me “Obama lied! He’s not a big liberal after all.”

    I’m like, “Do you remember me saying he was a moderate?

    It is a bizarre double reverse. Some conservatives are upset that their crazy fears about Obama were off base, and they now claim that this is somehow a problem for Obama.

  3. odograph says:

    Shorter: Why do you THINK he got the centrist vote?

  4. Dave Schuler says:

    Well, obviously it’s too early to tell but you might recall my observation from some months ago that I saw then Sen. Obama as a ruthless pragmatist. So far the staff picks support that view.

    There is an alternative possibility and that is that we’ll see a more progressive streak in the domestic policy positions. That seems to be the hope in the Sinistrophere at this point.

  5. ken says:

    If economic circumstances were different, if we had a booming economy and no debt, I would support Obama if he decided to stay in Iraq. But Iraq is an indulgence we cannot afford.

    The ten billion dollars per month we are spending in Iraq is desperately needed right here at home.

    The war on Iraq was based upon the lie that Iraq had WMD. It was not right for Bush to start the war. And now we can no longer afford the price to stay and make it better. We need to take care of our failing economy first.

  6. anjin-san says:

    Imagine that, Obama is going for the best people available, instead of just stacking the deck with people loyal to him.

    As I said five weeks ago:

    “Obama will be pragmatic because that is his nature, not because of the political forces at work”.

  7. Bithead says:

    Imagine that… “Change” was a lie, as we said all along.

    And if anyone will but recall, isn’t that exactly what happened when Clinton got into office?

    “I’m sorry about your tax cut, I tried, I really did…”

    Something of a pattern, here.

  8. rodney dill says:

    You mean he’s a moderate liberal? But I thought he was a Marxist Nazi. Lots of people on here told me so.

    We had to take him at his word, they was no guarantee he would sell-out his constituents like Bill Clinton did. And Godwin’s law applies, you lose, thread closed.

  9. anjin-san says:

    Imagine that… “Change” was a lie, as we said all along.

    Where to begin? For those not blinded by ideology, or just to dense to see it, some change has taken place already.

    Typically incoming Presidents stack the deck with loyalists, often at the cost of competence (see Bush, GW), they settle political scores and pack opponents off to Siberia.

    Obama has done exactly the opposite. He has been remarkably generous to his defeated opponents. He is working hard to turn enemies into friends. He is putting the best people he can find in key jobs.

    I am not sure why anyone would be surprised to see a lot of Clinton folks getting jobs. Where else are you going to find Democrats who know how to govern in DC? I don’t think putting a bunch of rookies to work is what the country needs right now.

    The man has not even taken office, and the usual suspects are chattering away about his broken promises and betrayed trust. It is instructive that their desire to see Obama fail is greater than their desire to see our county succeed.

    Cleaning us the vast wreckage of the Bush years is going to be a long difficult job. Getting that done is a little more important than any particular partisan agenda.

    Perhaps Obama meant what he was saying when he said he was going to be President of the whole country. This portion of the Grant Park speech merits some attention:

    Let us resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned our politics for so long. Let us remember that it was a man from this state who first carried the banner of the Republican Party to the White House – a party founded on the values of self-reliance, individual liberty, and national unity. Those are values we all share, and while the Democratic Party has won a great victory tonight, we do so with a measure of humility and determination to heal the divides that have held back our progress. As Lincoln said to a nation far more divided than ours, “We are not enemies, but friends…though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection.” And to those Americans whose support I have yet to earn – I may not have won your vote, but I hear your voices, I need your help, and I will be your President too.

  10. Gippergal says:

    I think the President-Elect’s motives are fairly clear: while his policies and friends are both extremely liberal, he also wants staying power. The more liberal he comes out of the chute, the more likely 2012 will go poorly for him. This is not a moment for him to put the spotlight on the activist elements of his agenda. To survive 2012, and to mollify the power brokers of his own party, he has to appoint centrists. It’s sensible. The last thing he needs to do is consolidate the conservative base even more. The liberal illuminati have, I suspect, reminded him who truly runs Washington.

    Additionally, though, it’s possible that some of the information he learned at his intelligence briefing contributed to more hawkish appointments in certain roles. Hillary Clinton is actually pretty strong on national security.

  11. just me says:

    Obama can afford to thumb his nose at the left in his party-even if they are among his most loyal supporters, because they really don’t have any other viable alternatives. It isn’t like they are going going to vote for a republican in 2010 or 2012.

    I do think at some point there is a tipping point, but this isn’t it. Obama probably needs to shore up those who dropped their support of the GOP to vote for him more than he needs to return favors.

    I don’t think this necessarily means he is going to be grand, and I think in the end how things work will depend far more on who has his ear than who the actual nominees are.

    I think those who will get shafted the most though will be those opposed to the war, the Patriot Act, FISA wire taps, etc. I think there is much in this regard Obama promised them (or they read into his “hope and change words”), and will not deliver on. Partly because he never intended to keep them promises or more than likely because the issues are far more difficult to deal with in reality than to issue soundbites on in a campaign speech.

    But this group isn’t going to run to the GOP either. They might stay home, but if Obama can keep the GOP swingers to the left he can afford this as well.

  12. KevinA says:

    Over all, I think odograph’s correct. He never WAS a “radical liberal” in the first place.

    On the Independent report, hold up a bit. I mean there’s no ATTEMPT to source that thing.

  13. KevinA says:

    Oh, and Jim Jones backed McCain this yr.? I know they’re friends, but I don’t know (and highly doubt) if he endorsed him.

  14. anjin-san says:

    Obama can afford to thumb his nose at the left in his party-even if they are among his most loyal supporters

    If nonsense like this makes you feel better about losing the election, have at it. But that is not what is going on here.

    Obama has to govern during a profound crisis and the general wreckage created by Bush. This is going to leave little time for partisan agendas. And we have seen that the country does better when Presidents look beyond such agendas anyway.

    I think the right is a little alarmed because it is becoming obvious that Obama has learned from history and is not going to repeat some of Clinton & Carter’s early mistakes. Their election themes of “empty suit” “amateur” and “too inexperienced” are already irrelevant in the face of reality.

  15. John Cole says:

    Gee. He is a mainstream Democrat who, if anything, has too many ties to the establishment and is not, as K-LO and the NRO nuts proclaimed, a wild-eyed socialist.

    At some point, even dimwitted Andy McCarthy and Sarah Palin might clue in that the reason he knows William Ayers is not because he likes to pal around with terrorists, but because Ayers is part of the Chicago establishment.

    While people are spinning this as Obama shunning progressives, the more accurate spin should be this- the right wing blogosphere was wrong yet again with their idiotic “radical marxist” and “socialist” and “most liberal senator ever” nonsense. Has Bithead ever been right about anything? Ever?

  16. jdobbs says:

    “Has Bithead ever been right about anything? Ever?”

    I don’t think you’ve understood “Bithead’s” function round here: He’s comic relief. It did get tedious recently, especially when the second clown turned up (Zeldorf something), but I think they’ve more or less given up their act after the election.

  17. anjin-san says:

    Has Bithead ever been right about anything? Ever?

    He’s sort of the poor man’s Bill Kristol. Specularly, hideously wrong, pretty much every time.

  18. andrew says:

    “Gee. He is a mainstream Democrat who, if anything, has too many ties to the establishment and is not, as K-LO and the NRO nuts proclaimed, a wild-eyed socialist.”

    So all of the hope and change stuff was just him lying for an entire year?

  19. Bithead says:

    Where to begin?

    Buyer’s remorse seems a reasonable starting point.

    Obama has done exactly the opposite

    TRanslation: “I meant to do that”…

    Yeah, right, Anjin.

    Has Bithead ever been right about anything? Ever?

    More often than many. More than yourself for example. Here’s the thing…For all the high expectations the left had for him and expectations which, it must be said he rode to the WH on, he’s already having to adjust the rhetoric to reality. And apparently, that perception is not unique. Witness:

    So all of the hope and change stuff was just him lying for an entire year?

    Yeah, pretty much.

    At some point, even dimwitted Andy McCarthy and Sarah Palin might clue in that the reason he knows William Ayers is not because he likes to pal around with terrorists, but because Ayers is part of the Chicago establishment.

    Cole, what would you have been saying about McCain had he been found to have ties to Klan members?

    Oh, wait. That would include another Democrat, KKK Byrd, wouldn’t it? Never mind.

  20. sam says:

    So all of the hope and change stuff was just him lying for an entire year?

    What are you on about, andrew? No wonder you guys lost.

  21. sam says:

    You, too, Bit.

  22. Pug says:

    I don’t think “The Left” is disappointed regardless of something published in Rupert Murdoch’s formerly respectable paper in London. I think some conservatives are disappointed.

    To listen to them during the campaign you would have expected Obama to nominate Maxine Waters for HHS, Louis Farrakhan for State, Noam Chomsky for Commerce and Bill Ayers for Education. Fortunately, no one listened to them.

  23. anjin-san says:

    Buyer’s remorse seems a reasonable starting point

    Yep. That would explain the huge smiles that Democrats are walking around with.

  24. anjin-san says:

    he’s already having to adjust the rhetoric to reality.

    Ummmm. Yea. You say that like its a bad thing. Actually, being in touch with reality is a good thing in a president. (See GW Bush & WMD)

    Its noteworthy that Obama has been able to perform this important function of leadership before even taking office and your boy Bush is still unable to do so after 8 years in office.

  25. andrew says:

    Chris Bowers of the influential OpenLeft.com blog complained: “That is, over all, a centre-right foreign policy team. I feel incredibly frustrated. Progressives are being entirely left out of Obama’s major appointments so far.”

    “Ummmm. Yea. You say that like its a bad thing. Actually, being in touch with reality is a good thing in a president. (See GW Bush & WMD)”

    So Obama is in touch with “reality”, which seems to mean he’s going to coast off of George Bush’s policy (at least foreign policy wise). Hey, I’m all for that, why mess with success? It’ll be funny though watching the MSM and the far Left twist themselves into pretzels trying to spin what is going on.

  26. anjin-san says:

    Andrew,

    There will never be any shortage of people bitching about what any President does. Given the state of the nation, I feel Obama deserves a pretty long honeymoon. We elected him, lets let him do his job.

    which seems to mean he’s going to coast off of George Bush’s policy (at least foreign policy wise). Hey, I’m all for that, why mess with success?

    Are you saying what you think you are? Bush policy a “success”? That would explain Bin Laden at large, Al Queda making a comeback and getting in a position to take Pakistan (and its nukes) our generals saying Afghanistan is failing, thousand of dead troops and half a billion dollars wasted to install a pro-Iran regime in Iraq.

    Wow. I could go on and on, but why burn any more daylight?

  27. Bithead says:

    Go ahead, Anjin.
    Tell us how you can do better, given the conditions.
    And explain to us all how Obama’s going to fix it all.

  28. anjin-san says:

    And explain to us all how Obama’s going to fix it all.

    Bit. Go to http://www.change.gov. Put your thinking cap on first.

  29. An Interested Party says:

    So all of the hope and change stuff was just him lying for an entire year?

    Not at all…only extremists on both ends of the political spectrum seem to interpret “hope and change” as some wild-eyed run to the left…hope and change can also mean competency, true bipartisanship, pragmatism, moderation, and sanity…all of which have been noticeably absent from much of Washington these past 8 years…the concern trollishness of conservatives who appear to be laughing that the far left got some kind of shaft is rather amusing, but, at least for the next 2 years, if not longer, conservatives have little to no power in the legislative or executive branches, so I suppose this is how they have come to console themselves…

  30. tom p says:

    Here’s the thing…For all the high expectations the left had for him and expectations which, it must be said he rode to the WH on, he’s already having to adjust the rhetoric to reality. And apparently, that perception is not unique.

    Bit, which left are you talking about? Which REALITY?? As of right now he is doing pretty much what I expected (not in the particulars, of which I have been spectacularly wrong about) but in the generalities: he is a centrist (left of center to be sure) but he is appointing people who can get things done… no matter which side they come from. Time will tell if they get things done that he wants done (no matter how they get them done)

    Funny how so many on the Right want to say, “See? He was lying…” when he isn’t even in the White House yet.

    As my Grandmother always said, “The proof is in the pudding…”

  31. Bithead says:

    Bit. Go to http://www.change.gov. Put your thinking cap on first.

    I don’t know what I find more amusing…. that you actually bought that bilge… or that you’re trying to sell ME on it, or that you consider yourself smart.

    Funny how so many on the Right want to say, “See? He was lying…” when he isn’t even in the White House yet.

    Funny how he’s been backing off, already on his pre-election claims… to the point where he’s already had to change the website to match reality. He’s not even sworn in yet, and he’s already having to lower expectations.

  32. anjin-san says:

    or that you’re trying to sell ME on it,

    I suppose you are right. They just don’t make thinking caps with sufficient horsepower.

    After all, you are the guy who said Palin was going to crush the Democrats 🙂

    He’s not even sworn in yet, and he’s already having to lower expectations.

    Are you surprised by that? After 8 years of your man Captain Bush, America looks a bit like the Titanic. Obama has to try and get her back to drydock for an overhaul. Seem to remember you doing a lot of cheer leading as GW set course for the iceberg…

    or that you consider yourself smart.

    the fact that you always disagree with me is pretty much proof of concept.

  33. sam says:

    Funny how he’s been backing off, already on his pre-election claims… to the point where he’s already had to change the website to match reality.

    Jesus, Bit, come back to Planet Earth and have a look around. We’re in the shitter bigtime, or hadn’t you noticed? (Following James — this isn’t a depression, but most of us are sure as hell depressed.) And if Obama’s adapting himself to reality, this is a bad thing in a president because? You’re thrashing, dude, just thrashing.

  34. Bithead says:

    Are you surprised by that?

    Not in the least.
    Every Democrrat President in my lifetime hasn’t coe up to his own hype. Why should this one be any different, particularly since this one’s hype was the most whackjob leftist of all….

  35. Bithead says:

    e’re in the shitter bigtime, or hadn’t you noticed?

    Sure did.

    And if Obama’s adapting himself to reality, this is a bad thing in a president because? You’re thrashing, dude, just thrashing.

    What you fail to understand is that Obama has labeled the liberalism he was touting all along as impractical. He knows it won’t work. He knows if we as a nation followed the prescription he gave us as candidate Obama, that President Obama would have presided over the largest disaster this nation has ever seen…. regardless of where we started, economically.

    What amazes most is that you guys on the left still haven’t figured that part out.

  36. sam says:

    What you fail to understand is that Obama has labeled the liberalism he was touting all along as impractical. He knows it won’t work. He knows if we as a nation followed the prescription he gave us as candidate Obama, that President Obama would have presided over the largest disaster this nation has ever seen…. regardless of where we started, economically.

    Nonsense. He knows no such thing. His solutions are still going to be liberal–injection of capital into the economy via public works projects, etc. How do you square what you just wrote with this:

    2.5 million jobs
    Friday, November 21, 2008 09:48pm EST /

    President-elect Barack Obama today announced a bold initiative to save or create 2.5 million jobs in the next two years.

    In his weekly address, President-elect Obama announced that he has directed his economic team to formulate an Economic Recovery Plan — a two-year, nationwide initiative that will strengthen our economy and put millions of Americans to work rebuilding our crumbling roads and bridges, modernizing our schools, and securing our clean energy future.

    Thrash, thrash, thrash.

  37. anjin-san says:

    I guess watching Bitsy try to blame Obama for the Bush economy will be good for laughs if nothing else.

  38. Bithead says:

    Reason Magazine has an interesting article up today.

    But now that he has won the presidency and must, as the cliché goes, shift from campaigning to governing, Obama and his economic team will have to face up to a paradox that most of the media overlooked during the campaign. Namely, the Obama campaign’s twin messages of bashing deregulation and embracing the Clinton years were inherently contradictory. Bill Clinton signed nearly every deregulatory measure that John McCain backed—the same measures that are now being blamed (wrongly) for helping cause the current crisis. What’s more, Clinton administration officials have credited these policies for contributing to the ‘90s economic boom—the very “shared prosperity” that Obama says he wants to go back to.”In 1993,” the document explained, “the laws that governed America’s financial service sector were antiquated and anti-competitive. The Clinton-Gore Administration fought to modernize those laws to increase competition in traditional banking, insurance, and securities industries to give consumers and small businesses more choices and lower costs.”

    Everything in those passages is true. All that’s missing is credit to the GOP-controlled Congress elected in 1994 for passing most of the policies that led to the prosperity. But the Clinton administration, whatever its personal and policy flaws, should indeed be praised for signing and advocating this deregulation. These bipartisan financial policies, however, were the very same policies that Obama, running mate Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.) and other Democrats attacked during the campaign. “Let’s, first of all, understand that the biggest problem in this whole process was the deregulation of the financial system,” Obama proclaimed in the second presidential debate.

    Funny how few remembered this one. One wonders if that whole thing wasn’t part of the driver for making Hillary Clinton a Secratary of State… so he wouldn’t get reminded in a few weeks time.

    Obama is finding his rhetoric is having to be toned down, altered, or just outright reversed, to mesh with reality. This adjustment is now being pushed by the left as ‘proof’ that Obama is in fact a centrist, not the whack-job leftist he made himself out to be. Well, first off, no. He’s no centrist, because he still thinks the nonsense he offered us during the campaign is a good idea. Not unlike Vlad Posner, he refuses to let failures dictate his ideology in the larger sense. This backtracking we’re seeing now is just Obama recognizing he can’t do what he promised.

    And think now; he’s not even been sworn in, yet. Clinton at least waited until het got his hand off the Bible and onto Monica Lewisnsky, before he pulled a 180, saying he tried, but couldn’t ‘give us’ the tax relief he’d promised…

    So, you were saying about blaming Obama? Sure, he’s part of the problem, even absent him running for POTUS.

    I guess watching Bitsy try to blame Obama for the Bush economy will be good for laughs if nothing else.

    Oh, hell… that’s an easy one.
    Let’s take a little trip into history, courtesy of the Chicago Sun-Times.

    Obama represented Calvin Roberson in a 1994 lawsuit against Citibank, charging the bank systematically denied mortgages to African-American applicants and others from minority neighborhoods

    This of course was pursued under Jimmy Carter’s CRA as modified by the Clintons. The result of that lawsuit, and others like it, have been repreatedly identified as the proximate cause of our current financial problems.

    So now, as soon as Obama gets in, along with what is doubtless helpful tot he cause, a near super-majority of Democrats, Citigroup gets a huge bailout for the troubles that the Democrats caused in the first place, Obama among them?

  39. anjin-san says:

    Obama represented Calvin Roberson in a 1994 lawsuit against Citibank,

    Hmmm. An attorney representing a client. Shocking indeed.

  40. anjin-san says:

    This of course was pursued under Jimmy Carter’s CRA as modified by the Clintons. The result of that lawsuit, and others like it, have been repreatedly identified as the proximate cause of our current financial problems.

    Yep. And I am pretty sure that twinge I felt in my football knee this morning is Carter, Clinton & Obama’s fault as well. Certainly no member of the GOP had a part in it.

  41. Bithead says:

    To the larger point of the post,

    Robert Stacy McCain says it well:

    Details, however, were not the Obama campaign’s strongest selling point. Rather, Obama succeeded by capitalizing on the kind of boundless Hope that prompted a Florida woman, Peggy Joseph, to her memorable declaration after a late-October campaign rally: “I won’t have to worry about putting gas in my car; I won’t have to worry about paying my mortgage. You know, if I help him, he’s gonna help me.”

    Such irrational expectations are inevitably followed by disillusionment. No prediction of what the next four years might bring is safer than this: The yawning gap between Hope and reality will produce a bumper crop of ex-Democrats.