Thursday, November 20, 2008

Change We Can Believe In!

The United States Cabinet came into existence with George 1 (the first George, you know, that Washington guy), who appointed 4 people to advise and assist him in his duties. The appointments were Thomas Jefferson to Secretary of State, Alexander Hamilton to Secretary of the Treasury, Henry Knox to Secretary of War (which essentially became the Secretary of Defense in 1947), and Edmund Randolph to Attorney General.

That was 1789. In 2008, The Cabinet consists of the Vice President and the heads of 15 executive departments-the Secretaries of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, Labor, State, Transportation, Treasury, and Veterans Affairs, and the Attorney General. Other positions have in recent years been given Cabinet-level rank and influence, and include the Chief of Staff, the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, the Director of the National Drug Control Policy, and the U.S. Trade Representative. 21 positions to be filled with 21 people who's job it will become to be the President's eyes and ears, to assess the needs of their respective departments and advise the President to act beneficially to American citizens. Those 21 people, appointed and led by a man that we the people elected, will shape the policies of our country over the next four years.

It has been interesting to watch our President-Elect begin to fill those Cabinet positions after winning the election on the campaign slogan, "Change we can believe in." In his nomination victory speech, he mentioned change 16 times and concluded with this messianic blurb that sent a chill down the spine of every conservative in the country,

"The journey will be difficult. The road will be long. I face this challenge with profound humility, and knowledge of my own limitations. But I also face it with limitless faith in the capacity of the American people. Because if we are willing to work for it, and fight for it, and believe in it, then I am absolutely certain that generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless; this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal; this was the moment when we ended a war and secured our nation and restored our image as the last, best hope on Earth. This was the moment - this was the time - when we came together to remake this great nation so that it may always reflect our very best selves, and our highest ideals. Thank you, God Bless you, and may God Bless the United States of America."

So who has The Chosen One chosen so far? Here are some official and widely speculated picks thus far:

Secretary of State- Hillary Clinton: Can't get any more Clintonite than a Clinton! Interesting choice for SOS, since she and Obama sparred fiercely on foreign policy issues throughout the campaign. Clinton was a supporter of the Iraq War, which Obama has vehemently opposed and has happily bashed any supporters for their apparent idiocy.

Secretary of the Treasury- Timothy Geithner: President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Wonderful, the chief architect of last spring's $30 billion Bear Stearns bailout that kicked off the current entitlest bailout shenanigans. Guess all Detroit has to do is make it through to January 20th...

Attorney General- Eric Holder: The Justice Department's No. 2 when Bill was president. Holder failed to stop the Clinton Presidential pardon of Marc Rich. Marc Rich the felon, the one hiding out in Switzerland, the one on the FBI's Most Wanted List, the one who's former wife and mother of his children had made large donations to the Democratic Party and the Clinton Library during the Clinton Administration. Yup, our likely new Attorney General failed to either recognize or stop (or both) a Presidential pardon bought and paid for in full. Get ready to see Tony Rezko back on the shady streets of Chicago.

White House Chief of Staff- Rahm Emanuel: A senior advisor to Clinton from 1993 to 1998. In the White House, Emanuel was initially Assistant to the President for Political Affairs and then Senior Advisor to the President for Policy and Strategy. He was a leading strategist in the unsuccessful White House efforts to institute universal healthcare and many other Clinton initiatives.

Secretary of Health and Human Services- Tom Daschle: Former Senate Majority Leader during the Clinton Administration, and a backer of that administration's failed health-care effort of the early 1990s. Wow, Obama sure has appointed a lot of people that were unsuccessful in implementing one of his biggest promises-socialized healthcare. What makes him think they'll be successful this time around?

Secretary of Commerce- Bill Richardson: Served as U.N. ambassador under President Bill Clinton and later as his Secretary of Energy. While heading the Energy Department, Richardson publicly named Wen Ho Lee (an employee at the Los Alamos National Laboratory) as a suspect who might have given nuclear secrets to the Chinese government. Lee was later cleared of charges and awarded a settlement by the Federal Government for the accusation. Richardson was criticized by both parties for his shoddy handling of the espionage inquiry.

Secretary of Homeland Security- Janet Napolitano: Appointed by President Bill Clinton as US Attorney for the District of Arizona in 1993. She later won election and served as the Arizona attorney general, and she is now serving her second term as the Governor of Arizona. As head of the Department of Homeland Security, Napolitano will be responsible for protecting our borders to keep terrorists out as well as responding to natural disasters. Throughout her term as Governor, she has consistently vetoed anti-immigration legislation that would have denied in-state tuition and day care for illegal aliens, made English the official stat language, allowed state and local police officers to enforce federal immigration laws, and rejected the Matricula Consular from Mexico as a valid form of identification (FBI officials have said these are "easy to forge" and a "major item on the product list of fraudulent document trade currently flourishing across the country and around the world."). What she has done on immigration reform is to implement some of the nation's toughest sanctions against businesses that employ undocumented migrants. Wonderful, punish the business owners that were forced to accept the easily forged Matricula Consular as an official form of identification rather than punish the illegal immigrant. Do people really think that punishing the employers rather than the criminals will stem the flow of illegals flocking to our country? They'll just forge a new ID and get a job somewhere else. Maybe as Secretary of Homeland Security Napolitano can concentrate on tracking down and putting out of business the specific person that sold Iran enough uranium to build a nuclear bomb rather than keeping the suicidal terrorists carrying that bomb out of our country.

Change we can believe in?

1 comment:

Ruben said...

Jenny - Interesting post; I happened to see a similar but far more detailed article you might be interested in: Written by someone hoping for much more dramatic 'change', but very revealing.