Wednesday, November 26, 2008

That didn't take long

In what has to be the fastest, most brazen betrayal of a campaign promise in the history of American politics, Barack "Change We Can Believe In" Obama is apparently going to keep Robert "Failed Policies of the Bush Administration" Gates as secretary of defense.

Un fucking believable. Now I really want my campaign contribution refunded.

4 comments:

Tor Hershman said...

Since Obama seems to have surprised you, you must see the last post at my blog.

Don Geddis said...

You know, there is an idea of competent technocrats, kind of separate from the policies that are chosen at the top. By all accounts, Gates (and Petraeus) are very skilled at their jobs. You shouldn't blame them for what the higher-ups asked them to do.

I think it really comes down to whether Obama delegates too much (including policy), or whether he exerts firm command from the top.

stechert said...

Did Obama at some point during his campaign promise to unseat Gates immediately upon assuming office? If not, you're interpreting that campaign slogan pretty literally. Also, Obama is now privy to much more information than a few months ago.

Given that we don't have access to that information, the question is whether you trust his judgment - I'd wager that things are far worse than we know and that he'd rather accept the consequences of this kind of backlash (for the security that's afforded by continuity in Gates' position) than to be foolishly consistent with his campaign slogan.

Ron said...

> Did Obama at some point during his campaign promise to unseat Gates immediately upon assuming office?

He did not mention Gates by name, no (at least not as far as I know). But his entire campaign was based on "changing the failed policies of the Bush administration" and he specifically singled out the Iraq war as example of such a failed policy.

I can understand wanting to keep Gates on board in some capacity, but not as SecDef. Keep him on as deputy secretary, or special advisor to the President or something like that. But keeping any Bush administration official in a central policy making role makes a mockery of "change we can believe in."

> If not, you're interpreting that campaign slogan pretty literally.

How exactly should I be interpreting it?