Free Markets, Free People

Ethics? Oh, That Was Just Campaign Rhetoric …

You have got to love the tip-toeing the NYT’s Peter Baker does as he “gently” chastises and then excuses the Obama administration’s ethical lapses:

During almost two years on the campaign trail, Barack Obama vowed to slay the demons of Washington, bar lobbyists from his administration and usher in what he would later call in his Inaugural Address a “new era of responsibility.” What he did not talk much about were the asterisks. The exceptions that went unmentioned now include a pair of cabinet nominees who did not pay all of their taxes. Then there is the lobbyist for a military contractor who is now slated to become the No. 2 official in the Pentagon. And there are the others brought into government from the influence industry even if not formally registered as lobbyists.

17 now ensconsed in the "lobbyist free" Obama administration

17 now ensconced in the "lobbyist free" Obama administration

In fact, as India Daily tells us, the count is 17 lobbyists who’ve needed exceptions to serve, to include the number 2 in the Treasury Department.

But the episode has already shown how, when faced with the perennial clash between campaign rhetoric and Washington reality, Mr. Obama has proved willing to compromise.

Compromise? This isn’t compromise, this is capitulation. And it is sounding more and more like a – dare I say it – lie. Some will try to excuse all of this as naiveté. Really? Is that what you want to be saying about a politician in the most powerful office in the world? That he’s naive? Just who you need in office when staring very complicated foreign policy in the face, isn’t it? I would assume that these decisions about who Mr. Obama would name to his administration began well before he was elected. One also assumes, like the number 2 at Defense, that the names and background of those he planned on choosing were known. So you then have to conclude that he may had no intention of living up to the promises he was making. Thankfully, there are some who will continue to call his hand on this, even if the MSM wont:

And so in these opening days of the administration, the Obama team finds itself being criticized by bloggers on the left and the right, mocked by television comics and questioned by reporters about whether Mr. Obama is really changing the way Washington works or just changing which political party works it.

Obviously it is the latter. For heaven sake, this is the Clinton administration reborn and ethics wasn’t what it was known for at all. Because Obama set the bar so high and because he claimed that his rhetoric wasn’t ‘just words’, the expectation that he’s a “different” politician who would change the way Washington does business remains a very imporant part of his appeal. But so far, not so good:

“This is a big problem for Obama, especially because it was such a major, major promise,” said Melanie Sloan, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. “He harped on it, time after time, and he created a sense of expectation around the country. This is exactly why people are skeptical of politicians, because change we can believe in is not the same thing as business as usual.”

And so far, other than a few bones to supporters, this administration is shaping up as a “business as usual” administration. One thing Obama could do to help save the day is something he was quite good at doing on the campaign trail – throw Daschle under the bus. I don’t think that will happen, and the fact that it most likely won’t is perhaps the most telling thing of all.

Hope and change.


10 Responses to Ethics? Oh, That Was Just Campaign Rhetoric …

  • McQCompromise? This isn’t compromise, this is capitulation. And it is sounding more and more like a – dare I say it – lie.

    I noted today that Eric “Bagman” Holder has promised that, “unlike Bush‘s DoJ”, TAO’s DoJ will be free from political influence.  Unless, of course, that influence shows up with a fat bag of cash… er… campaign contribution, that is.
    It will be interesting to see the left and MiniTru twist and turn and contort their puny brains over the next four years as they rationalize and explain how TAO isn’t just another dirty politician do what most (if not all) of them do.

  • Holy carp, this site is 20 times slower than the last one.  Looks like you’ll have to carry on without my sage advice 🙁

  • Doesn’t matter. Lightworker’s supporters are too invested in him.

    These are people who care about nothing but making sure their perferred party is in power.  The rest is just minor details

  • “Unless, of course, that influence shows up with a fat bag of cash… er… campaign contribution, that is.”

    And THAT’S the Chicago Way…

  • The dread demon Underbus (thank you Iowahawk) has already claimed two more today.

    Its thirst can never be slaked.

  • “Willing to compromise,” ie, willing not to live up to the standards he has set for himself.

    If he were a Republican, this would be called hypocrisy.

  • “Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America.”

    Who said it? The Clown™, in his inaugural address.

    And he has “beg[u]n the work of remaking America.”

    He has started remaking it into a huge, torturous sh!thole where people say one thing and then do another.

    And that is why The Clown’s™ job approval rating has dropped in 1 week from 86% to 67%.

    I predicted that by July 4, The Clown™ will be as popular as the clap. Only the media won’t report those numbers.