I guess “change” means different things to different people

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How is it that Obama isn’t even the President yet, and I’m already so disappointed in his decisions? I suppose it was inevitable, when you actually believe in, and put faith in, a politician. Every politician is an opportunist, first and foremost, and expecting them to always have your own best interests at heart is, I agree, ridiculous, and a set-up for heartbreak and disappointment.

Much flap is being made over Rick Warren giving the invocation at Obama’s inauguration. This is a man who equates gay relationships with incest, thinks legal abortions amount to a holocaust, and is an evolution denier. And yeah, I know Rev. Lowry, who is pro-gay, will also be on the stage, but this all just reeks of so much political pandering, theater, and cynicism, it makes me want to barf. Why is it always the gays that are asked to be the “tolerant” ones (I find that word abhorent, frankly, but I guess it works here)? I don’t believe the wingnuts in this country deserve to be pandered to at all, and I think it’s a national mental illness that these people are even given any voice whatsoever, since they’re all clearly insane. But such is the United States of America. I don’t think picking Warren is the worst thing in the world, but I think there are better choices out there, and by going with one of the most divisive figures in the country, Obama is not, I’m afraid, engaging in unity (if that is his idiotic excuse for pulling such a stunt), but rather alienating almost everyone that helped elect him (I’m talking liberals here, people with brains, not just gay folks).

But even before that, Obama’s choice of John Brennan to head the CIA, which, thank God, has been derailed, should have been the first sign that Obama might be, just a little bit, full of shit. When all you’ve done for 2 years is yammer on and on about “change” and what a horrible mistake the Iraq war is, how can you pick the man to head the CIA who was one of the leading architects of the mess in the first place? And not only that, he supports torture!

Thirdly, and this will go under the radar, because about 5 people in this country actually care about this, but yesterday it was announced that Obama has picked former Iowa governor Tom Vilsack to be the new Seceratary of Agriculture. This is not a man who is serious about weening America off of a deadly diet of corn and corn-based products. He was named Biotech Gov. of the Year by the Biotech Industry, and supported the expansion of CAFO (Confined Animal Feeding Operations) in Iowa, at the expense of local farmers and local agriculture, during his governorship. This man is now going to be in charge of regulating America’s diet. Hopefully his small amount of lip service to a meaningful limit on subsidies will actually go somewhere, but I’m not holding my breath. If Obama really wants to reduce healthcare costs in this country, perhaps he should have made a little bit wiser of a choice for Sec. of Agriculture than someone who has consistently supported policies that have further contributed to America being of the fattest and least healthy countries on the planet.

I still think Obama is the best person to lead our country, and I don’t regre voting for him. I also still believe that despite these things, a lot of things will change for the better. At least he’s bringing science back to the White House! I am convinced more than ever, though, that this man not be given a free pass, and that the American people become as vigilant as ever about keeping his feet to the fire in delivering what he has claimed he will deliver. I’m more nervous about him than I was before, but the fact of the matter is, he’s still a politician.

As my good friend likes to say about Austin, it’s a very liberal city, but it’s still a city in Texas. The same goes for Obama: he may be liberal and smart, but he’s still a creepy politician.

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3 responses to “I guess “change” means different things to different people

  1. The Vilsack appointment has me seriously bummed out, too. I can’t understand how this decision jibes with the Obama health-care agenda, unless part of that plan is to make more people need health care for things they could’ve possibly prevented, or at least mitigated, with a healthier diet. But that seems pretty dumb, and certainly cruel.

    At least Gov. Paterson is proposing a tax increase on sugary beverages in NY, with all funds raised going toward health care.

    As for Rick Warren, I don’t understand why there needs to be anything religious about the inauguration of our head of state to begin with. Oh wait, it’s because the “separation” of church and state is absolutely non-existent. (And how can anyone take something called the “Saddleback Church” seriously?)

    More and more I’m finding public religiosity really, really annoying. By all means, go to church, and strive to live your life in accordance with your faith. But why wear your religion like you would designer clothing? Why be so showy and loud about it? I mean, no one likes loud, obnoxious, in-your-face atheists, either.

  2. I hate to look at this with a cynical eye so soon, but it seems that some of Obama’s earliest decisions have been in strategy to secure his election in 2012. (BTW, I don’t mean to imply that that strategy is unique to Obama. I think all politicians are thinking of the next election as soon as they’re in. This is one reason why I now support the idea of term limits for Congress.)

    Keeping Robert Gates on board – which, personally, I agree with – and picking some moderates for his staff could widen his crossover/independent appeal for an eight year presidency.

    Of course, that’s just my gut talking, b/c I do think it’s only fair to give the guy and his administration time to stretch out. Still, b/c there are so many expectations for the next four years, it’s also understandable that people are showing disapproval about some of Obama’s early moves (I, for one, don’t like Janet Napolitano as the Homeland Security Secretary).

    It’s probably a good idea to expect little from all politicians.

  3. Yes, I actually agree with you. Ironically, this election, despite giving me hope about politics, for really the first time, has also made me a little more cynical about politics than I’ve ever been. I realize now, that even for people whose intentions are genuinely pure, it’s still always going to be business as usual. And I also think you’re right about always looking forward to the next election, and I also support Congress term limits.

    Thirdly, I also think that I, and a lot of other people, do need to settle down a little bit and be patient and just wait and see before we jump to any conclusions. Give the guy a chance to genuinely fuck up before we pounce. We also need to keep in mind that Obama can’t possibly live up to all the expectations placed on him by so many different people.

    But still; Rick Warren? That was just a bone-headed move, no matter which way you cut it.

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