Okay, so President
Obama is about to appoint Judd Gregg as Commerce Secretary. When this was first
announced, many liberals were giddy at the prospect of getting a 60th
Democratic vote in the Senate, despite the reality that there is no such thing
as a "filibuster-proof majority" in a Senate with at least a half
dozen Democrats who are practically Republicans. But Gregg whined, and stated
that he wouldn't serve his country as Commerce Secretary if it meant it changed
the make up of the Senate, thus putting party ahead of country, as Republicans
are wont to do. So, Governor Lynch will be appointing a Republican to replace
Gregg, thus denying Democrats the magical 60 seats so many think they need.
Judd Gregg seems
like a bad fit with the Obama Administration, but Barack Obama has
amazing instincts as a politician; I don't think anyone should question his
political motives quite yet. So, what is
he doing, nominating so many Republicans to his administration?
Here's what I think
The two most
contentious issues Obama will deal with during his first year or two in
office are the two occupations, In Iraq and Afghanistan, and the economy. And
these are the issues on which the far right will most likely try to oppose him,
and do so quite strongly. Since public
opinion will have a lot of influence on
these issues, and will either strengthen or weaken the opposition to things
such as the stimulus.
So, what better way
to blunt the Republicans' criticism of the measures Obama will have to take
regarding the occupations and the economy, than to have Republicans in charge
of both Commerce and Defense? What can
the wingnuts in Congress say? Can they claim "partisanship" when the
leaders of both efforts are being undertaken by fellow Republicans, Gates and
I may be off base
here, but Obama seems to be demonstrating some incredible political
agility here. He's knocking the wind out of the Republicans' sails, by walking
the walk, and creating a truly bipartisan administration, and making Republicans
who would oppose him on look like fools. How can they possibly oppose him, and not look like fools, when members of
their own party are actually implementing the laws the Democrats
"make" them pass?
Of course, if
Republicans were smart, they could use this as a way to improve their standing with voters.
When the stimulus package works — and it will — they can claim a measure of
credit, since one of theirs — Gregg — helped make it work. When the two
occupations end, and the entire Middle
east doesn't dissolve into pure chaos, one of theirs — Gates –was a major
player in that effort.
But right wing
Republicans aren't smart, so Obama's the one who will benefit, when he looks like the bipartisan reformer, and they just look like petulant children.
I think I get this