Howard: Obama replaying Clinton’s mistakes

By Giles Howard

Sen. John McCain was right about President-elect Barack Obama. The Obama campaign was one of… Sen. John McCain was right about President-elect Barack Obama. The Obama campaign was one of carefully cultivated celebrity and deliberate lies, the scale of which is only now being revealed to the rest of the world. The word ‘change’ was a slogan completely lacking in substance in a campaign designed to catapult a man of little experience and less judgement into the Oval Office. This fact is evidenced by the way he has built his administration in the last several weeks. In constructing his administration, Obama has chosen to elevate the worst of the Democratic Party to the executive level. The Clinton administration, which lay the foundation for our current economic crisis, conducted a criminal foreign policy and foisted NAFTA on an unsuspecting continent, is now being reconstituted by Obama and his advisers. Let’s look at a few examples from this New Camelot so I can explain myself further. It’s only appropriate to start with Obama’s nominee for secretary of state, Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y. This is a woman whose foreign policy experience amounts to traveling a lot and pretending to share a bed with the 42nd president. Clinton also vehemently attacked Obama’s foreign policy throughout the Democratic primary. As both a senator and presidential candidate, Clinton demonstrated that her positions on foreign policy are diametrically opposed to those of the Obama we knew. She voted for the war in Iraq, campaigned against engaging nations such as Venezuela diplomatically and attempted to stir up trouble with Iran every chance she got. But the reconstruction of the Clinton administration doesn’t begin or end with the nomination of Clinton. Clinton insider Larry Summers has been appointed as director of the National Economic Council, who is responsible for coordinating domestic and international economic policies at the executive level. As treasury secretary during the latter years of the Clinton administration, Summers, along with the now discredited Alan Greenspan, presided over devastating economic deregulation. The extensive deregulation implemented by Summers and Greenspan enabled the sub-prime mortgage meltdown and the broader economic crisis that has brought our nation to its knees. Not only has Obama positioned Clinton’s cronies to control the levers of economic and foreign policy, but he’s even handed them plum positions in the intelligence community. For example, he nominated Leon Panetta, a former California congressman and chief of staff to President Bill Clinton from1994 to 1997, to serve as director of the CIA. Nothing in Panetta’s background prepares him for this post. The only experience that his supporters have described as relevant is that he handled intelligence briefings for Bill Clinton, the man who authorized a series of infamous CIA practices, including extraordinary renditions. Obama’s picks for attorney general, deputy attorney general, treasury secretary, chief of staff and solicitor general all served in the Clinton administration. This is not the change we were promised. The Obama we came to know throughout the election promised new faces and directions in Washington rather than a continuation of the dynastic politics of the last two decades. But now that the dust has settled and Obama has constructed his Cabinet, it has become clear that the Obama administration will be a rehashing of the Clinton administration and all of its crimes, bungles and incompetence. This is not what I voted for. This is not what we voted for. In voting for Obama, I was willing to accept higher taxes for greater civil liberty. I was willing to see capital gains taxes rise, income taxes increase, and I was even ready to watch him divert more of my money to segments of this society that have never and will never contribute anything to my well-being. But this willingness was conditioned on the belief that the Obama administration would cease the illegal wiretapping of American citizens, extend equal rights to gay Americans and halt the expansion of the church into the affairs of the state. Had I known in November what I know today about the makeup and direction of the Obama administration, I would have voted for McCain. E-mail Giles at [email protected].