Monday, November 24, 2008

Acting White: Friends Close…Enemies Closer…Part II

President-elect Obama has offered the job of Secretary of State to Hillary Clinton, and it looks like she will accept – this is a good thing in my view, but why? During the campaign on matters of foreign policy, Clinton and Obama seemed the farthest apart, she as traditionalist and he looking for new approaches to a dangerous world.

As irritated as the Clinton's must be with up-start Obama, their cooler heads must tell them that he took everything they and McCain had to throw and still came out on top. This counts for something, even in Clintonian politics. As gestures go, Obama’s offer is as good as it gets in showing respect, which is the most Clinton could expect to collect.

From Hillary’s view, returning to the Senate puts her in the company of other senate long-shot losers, Kerry for one, and is not going to get her any closer to the White House (if she gets another chance). The high-profile Sec. State job keeps her in the thick of things, recognizes her skill set, and gives potential and significant accomplishments to put on her resume. It’s also a good place to shine, separate from any stumble Obama might make on the home-front.

From Obama’s view, it is more difficult for her to undermine him, if she is on the team with her hands full negotiating around the world. Also, any meddling she might attempt will be more obvious than if she is in the senate, looking out for her constituents on issues of domestic interest. All in all, I think it’s a good trade.

As a sidebar, I am not a big fan of the Larry Summers selection to run the National Economic Council, and not because of his foot-in-mouth about women in science, while at Harvard, or his falling out with Black Studies professor Cornell West. Rather, his view of Africa as a best-practice dumping ground for G-7 industrial waste, while chief economist of the World Bank, was abominable. His statement that the resulting increases in cancer in Africans from toxic waste were mitigated by their inherent shorter life spans, showed him to be a true low-life. Obama could definitely regret having a guy with such a high IQ and low emotional intelligence on the team. On one side he helps you, then he kills you.

On balance, I think Obama’s setting up the table nicely, but he’s got a very tough row to hoe – indeed.

James C. Collier


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Anonymous said...

I understand your reasoning - it definitely has merit. It will be interesting to see if she is busy enough not to throw salt on Obama's game. Surely though the Diva Bill will though. This guy is "brat" who will show his behind more than once during the next four years.


Hi there,

Hillary is a gifted woman with a broad range of talents....being a team player HAS NEVER been her M.O.A. and it never will be.

You will see....Hillary will create a culture of "the United States of Clinton" over at the State Department.

She will set up moles to "leak" information on the Obama administration whenever she doesn't agree with his policies.

She is NOT to be trusted.

Condi was a close friend of close that she put national interests in the second tier and the friendship in the first tier.

Hillary will place Hillary's international power base in the first tier. Oh at first she will act like she's going along because she KNOWS she's been closely watched...the "true colors" will be flaming in a short period of time.

Just wait and see.

On an unrelated note, we need all blog hosts blowing the trumpet to protest the racist disparagement of Princeton scholar, Dr. Yolanda Pierce, by seminary students who have not been disciplined.

Peace, blessings and DUNAMIS!

Anonymous said...

I must say, this discussion of Obama and the Clintons as soap opera characters is a little absurd. Ever hear the term "presidential reality show"? You cheapen your blog by fawning over these shallow criminals merely because they're on your TV frequently. ... While, strictly in terms of their tremendous egos your assessment of their idiotic spats may be accurate, the notion that they're personally making choices that will shape our country is laughable. Look how foreign policy is created: by well-funded lobbyists and think-tanks that operate outside of voter control. Look how domestic policy is made, or, most importantly, economic policy ... Completely separate from these cheap actors and their melodrama. That's why the course to national failure has remained intact and steady from Bush to Clinton to Bush ... Obama's job is basically to sell the policies handed to him--although he may do it enthusiastically; he's certainly not going to change the course.

And you misreport: There was no fundamental philosophical difference between Obama and Hillary's views of foreign policy. Different rhetorical strategies, possibly, but *identical* basic assumptions.

You seem like a smart guy, James. But I'm baffled by this will to ignorance. I believe there's a psychological need to buy into the facade here. The guess I would venture would be that you're personally invested in the status quo, in the fantasy that everything's okay, and you're even more invested in Obama due to his race, so you carefully fit those blinders on. But it smacks of intellectual dishonesty.

James C. Collier said...

Anon 8:16, my jig is up, I'm not that smart. Some days I think my vote means nothing, and power and money-lust rules everything. On those days we live for nothing, we die for nothing. We are useless. On other days I smile, I give a damn only because someone smiles back. I write, I draw, or climb a hill on my bike, or blog about something that strikes me. Ignorance? perhaps. Willful ignorance? no. Willful optimism? definitely. It boils down to how you want to make the journey. Humanity is too self-important for my taste. As proof, we just got here and will be gone soon enough, regardless.

Anonymous said... KNOW and UNDERSTAND ... Doesn't this hold any appeal for you? If your controlled and calculated media and centers of thought are loading you up with unprovable--in fact, palpably not true--nonsense, doesn't this bother you? Doesn't it eat at you to think you're proceeding through life, putting forth information on your site here, and when pressed you can't logically defend it????

This has nothing to do with the meaning of life and optimism must be tempered with common sense, no? For example: if the banking system is essentially a street-corner scam, and it is, and if the effect of this is people's lives being destroyed, and they are, and the only solution offered is printing trillions (after the billions are multiplied via fractional reserve banking) of dollars out of thin air and controlling every facet of our lives (and this is very much the solution Barack is offering) then what role does optimism play? Merely to delude yourself so you don't have to face facts???

So basically you're a proponent of self-delusion ... If this is the case, why pretend otherwise? Why begin as if you're interested in an honest exchange of ideas?

James C. Collier said...

Anon, it is easy for you to sit behind a curtain and throw darts. Quite different to pick even one of your targets/topics and persuade to agreement by the strength of your argument and persistence of effort, not to mention what's required to inspire action. You tell people to get educated, but your complaints, while they may have merit, are at the same time abandoned by your shallow and/or non-existent soap box hit-and-run modus. Your intellectual style on this (and other blogs I presume) does nothing, but paint you as a smart, child-like spectator in a world desperate for grown-up doers. I suggest you get some balls/ovaries, step out of the anon. shadows and experience a real battle for what you believe/want, including the inevitable compromise required to get anywhere close to it. In other words, get your own blog and stop clogging up mine with off-topic nonsense.

Anonymous said...

You can always find a reason to dismiss information. Always. Your reasons above amount to an almost text-book ad hominem argument, which is as good as an open admission that you're drawing a blank as far as a substantive reply is concerned.

I thought I was challenging assumptions, not clogging up the blog ... I thought I was presenting the idea that if you don't delve into the workings of money and the ugly, ugly truths of our system, your discussion of politics is completely empty. In point of fact, this is very much in keeping with the topic of the post--it's just not anything you are willing to think about, I guess.

In closing, what I'm saying is that you're contributing to the problem by adding to a climate of ignorance, by advancing ideas that you can't prove and probably haven't even given a lot of thought to. I've presented you with factors that, if true, pull the rug out from under all this inane Obama personality worship. Will you study these factors and risk changing your own mind? Watch the Money Masters on Google Video ... It's a view of history and politics through the prism of banking and money control, and I don't think that if you soak it up, you can come away with your former naive faith in the system.

These things I bring up are, in fact, completely relevant and on-topic in any political discussion.

Undercover Black Man said...

You make a solid case, James, for feeling good about Hillary as Sec. of State. But I agree with Lisa; I worry about her having a nest of Hillary loyalists inside the administration who will not hesitate to dish dirt and embarrass Obama... especially if some policy disagreement pops up between the president and her.

As for the industrial-waste-in-Africa stuff... dang, I never knew!

Anonymous said...

Obama is doing what he is told, following orders from his handlers, like Soros and the Z man at Columbia. He understands what happened to Kennedy when he stepped across the line.