15 December 2008

Mr. Transparency?

You'll notice that in a prior post concerning Gov. Blagojevich, I mentioned nary a word about our president-elect. 

On one hand, I completely disagree with the RNC's immediate propaganda blast on the day of Blagojevich's arrest, attempting to tie Obama in with Blagojevich, noting that -- gasp! -- the president-elect not only has made public appearances with the governor in the past, but had the audacity to endorse him in 2006! While the Republican Party is making good-faith efforts to find its footing in the wake of its November 4 beatdown, Roveian crap like this exemplifies everything that is wrong with the GOP. 

Let me be clear: I applaud Team Hope for, according to the FBI's complaint, completely rebuffing any pay-for-play scheme that Blagjevich floated with respect to filling the Changemaker's Senate seat. Blagojevich's alleged reaction to Obama's team's flat refusal to cough up cash in exchange for nominating their preferred candidate (presumably, Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett) tells me everything I need to know about what the incoming administration thought of such an idea.

However, the fact that questions still hang over the office of the president-elect speaks volumes about Obama's "new kind of politics" mantra. During the campaigns, the Hopemonger spoke often of transparency in government, and roundly criticized the Bush administration's lack thereof. I accuse the president-elect of no wrongdoing vis-a-vis Blagojevich, but believe that the inability to answer simple questions about who spoke with Blagojevich when and what was discussed is another example of the Changemaker saying one thing and doing another.

As noted by a number of astute analysts, Obama's inner circle is a group of people (save chief of staff Rahm Emanuel) that has little or no executive experience. 

It's showing.

Frankly, ignoring questions and blowing off the press is utter hypocrisy, considering the nature of Obama's supposedly transformative candidacy. If I remember correctly, he ran as a supposed agent of "change we can believe in," promising to bring a new kind of politics to the Beltway.

Obama's team could have made this story go away overnight by sending out the following statement: "Shortly after the election, the office of the president-elect was contacted by Gov. Blagojevich regarding a disgusting pay-for-play scheme. Not only did the office of the president-elect rebuff such overtures, but we now call on Gov. Blagojevich to tender his resignation, effective immediately."

Instead, by failing to be forthright and refusing to answer completely legitimate questions about the nature of his team's communications with Blagojevich (that any incoming administration, by the way, would owe the American people), Barack Obama is combining the worst excesses of the past two presidencies: The word-splicing and truth-parsing of the Clinton administration, and the secrecy and bellicosity of the Bush years.

Especially from a man whose claim to the presidency was his "superior judgment," the silence is deafening. 

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