I now come to you from that formless realm known as unpaid overtime, which also ties into why my presence here has been reduced to something on par with a shade of late. I ask that you, like I do myself, take heart in the sure knowledge that no work crunch cna last forever. That said, though, *knocks on nearest wood-equivalent*.

On to the business of the day: Politico points out that, just like the Right before it, the Left has become displeased with Obama. Specifically, the perception is growing that he’s already selling out all those lovely spending programs he campaigned on. And this of course is bourne largely out of the left not liking what it sees as the cabinet gels and the lack of liberal activists becomes ever more obvious, combined with his backing off of imposing a windfall profits tax on Big Oil, reevaluating an Iraq troop drawdown and deciding not to immediately repeal the Bush tax cuts.

Now those of you who know me simply as a liberal would expect me to be joining the chorus of repudiation of our so-called messiah. You would, however be mistaken, for the following reason:

The Reckoning.

All policymaking for at least the next year must be viewed through the filter of the fact that, while our economy may not be outright dying, it is almost certainly sick enough that it wishes it were dead. Obama is above all else a pragmatist, and while I’m confident he has not outright abandoned these and other of his goals he realizes certain priorities have to be put on hold until the first order of business, kerjiggering the nation’s finances back into funtioning, is at least well underway. In the sick, twisted way that only politics can ensure Bush is actually going to be determining policy for a good while indirectly as administration 44 struggles to rebuild what administration 43 once destroyed.

The Cabinet: as is obvious, from his campaign if nothing else, Obama is not a stupid man. The republicans at this point are certainly much diminished and almost hilariously dysfunctional, but they are far from dead. The fact that he’s stacking the cabinet with capable operatives with varying degrees of partisan loyalty should be nothing other than encouraging for those overcome with fatigue of Bush’s patented opposition steamroller. All of the people he’s appointed (yes, even Hillary Clinton) are driven less by party loyalty than an overriding goal-orientation, and given the man that will be setting those goals the team he’s got will be very effective in fulfilling their myriad tasks. The right seems pleased simply out of gratitude that Obama does not seem to be interested in visiting upon them the same famine and pestilence job the GOP so gleefully unleashed on the democrats once the great revolution began breaking down. Removing Hillary from the senate seems to be percieved as a particular favor, mostly due to her speculation as being Ted Kennedy’s heir apparant, though with Caroline Kennedy now largely seen as Hillary’s own likely heir it seems the GOP will be dealing with everyone’s favorite family of liberal Irish Catholics for some time to come.

Shank Not The Rich: as much as the Reckoning has made it vogue to hate on the rich, this is, in spite of Bush and Paulson’s best efforts, still a capitalist society, and thus when the economy goes pear-shaped it’s generally best not to go Robin Hood on the people who have the capital. Especially in light of the recent collapse in the price of Oil, a windfall profits tax makes no sense. And Obama isn’t extending the Bush tax cuts, he’s simply letting them die naturally as opposed to killing them outright, which is hardly a radical shift in policy.  That’s not to say I think the Bush tax cuts don’t deserve to die and the estate tax should remain buried, quite the opposite, and in fact that OTHER day of reckoning will come once the economy straightens out. Until then, sadly, this remains one unfortunate truth we’ll have to deal with: we need the people with the money to invest that money as part of the recovery.

Iraq: the elephant in the room of american political discourse since 2003 if not sooner, as well as the left’s favorite avenue of attack. Since the mission was allegedly accomplished the democratic party has made a swift, if not an immediate, withdrawl one of their key policy points. Of course this ignores the truth that, despite how big of a mistake invading in the first place may have been, we have as a nation made a mess and now have a responsibility to stay until some semblence of order has been restored. The left also seems to have forgotten that, along with his calls for a troop drawdown, since the campaign Obama has also included the caveat that this would have to be dependent on assessments from commanders on the ground. Since, you know, officers tend to be better at determining military strategy than politicians (Exhibit A: Vietnam). Saying we’ll actually listen to the people who are doing the fighting is hardly a betrayl of our troops, and adds to the likely possibility that the left is only getting antsy on this point as they wish to time the announcement of a withdrawl stratefy so as to maximize the humiliation of Bush, which if it weren’t for there kind of being lives and governments at stake I would totally be down with.

In conclusion, the left needs to take a deep breath and not succumb to the partisan trap they’re so famous for impaling themselves on. If nothing else, just focus on the fact that in 42 Days Bush will no longer be president and the task of disassembling the various monstrosities he has created will commence, in whatever order the new president chooses. Remember: not braining the right over the head right out of the gate does not constitute a betrayl of liberalism.

We’re all in this Together

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