Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Obama Administration Really Confuses Me

Ever since he took office Obama has been playing a strange game: one step forward, three quarters of a step back. 4/5 of a step forward, 1/3 of a step back. A step and a half forward, 1.75 steps back. The entire thing has gotten so hard to keep track of, with a mixture of fractions and decimals and constant moves forward and backward, that it’s hard to tell how much progress has been made- if any. Take today, for example:

The Obama administration will announce a new
policy Wednesday making it much more difficult
for the government to claim that it is
protecting state secrets when it hides details
of sensitive national security strategies such
as rendition and warrantless eavesdropping,
according to two senior Justice Department
Hooray! Doing terrible things and then protecting yourself behind claims of state secrets has been a beloved tactic in Washington for decades, but those days might be over. This all depends on this rule surviving the next Republican president, of course, but at least it’s a step in the right direction. Which means… oh no… here comes a step back!

“This October, on a scheduled visit to the United
States, the Dalai Lama will not be welcomed at the
White House. Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett was
recently dispatched to Dharamsala -- the Dalai Lama's
place of exile in northern India -- to gently deliver
the message. The Tibetans took the news, as usual,
nonviolently. "A lot of nations are adopting a policy
of appeasement" toward China, observed Samdhong
Rinpoche, prime minister of Tibet's government in
exile. "I understand why Obama is not meeting with
the Dalai Lama before his Chinese trip. It is
common sense. Obama should not irritate the Chinese leadership.”
What, was this going to be the meeting with the Dalai Lama that finally threw the Chinese government over the edge?! We have a fifty year tradition of shaking his hand and not doing much else to help him, has the handshake gotten too strenuous?

Of course compared to the steady torrent of crap that defined the Bush administration, this isn’t too bad. And I’m still sure that Obama is doing a better job than McCain would have. But Obama’s job isn’t to be a better president than McCain or Bush; his job is to be a good president. I’m not sure if we can call him that until he snaps out of the Obama Shuffle and starts delivering good news without a side of crap.

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