Getting Political

Obama won’t be Lincoln (or FDR) for quite some time

I have been extremely loath to write any post about the upcoming inauguration, mostly because I feel like there are far too many people that know so much more than me – and not just the analysts and journalists, but also even some of my classmates in school, friends from college – that I’ll just look like an idiot.  

As a history major, I have never subscribed to the idea that any event at a particular time is unique, and that past lessons are largely irrelevant.  I say “largely” because I can’t imagine any historian not agreeing with the whole “those that don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it” mantra.  At some point history is relevant.  But I have run into some through my intellectual travels (ie – dinner with friends) where the point has been made that the circumstances surrounding one event in history make it so unique that it is not applicable to current events (or other events in the timeline of history).  So Waterloo happens just once and is not relevant other than as a concept.

A lot has been made about President-elect Obama’s incoming administration and the comparison to Abraham Lincoln’s 150 years ago.  The “Team of Rivals” where Obama and Lincoln both built cabinets composed of his biggest political rivals, the national crises each has/had to face while entering office, and of course even the fact that both are from Illinois.

However, while these are not only already over exaggerated and hyped up at least for the sake of media and today’s tagline-hungry population (myself included to an extent – I certainly read the headers on my RSS feeder a lot, even when I think the article looks good), the differences are, in my opinion, so different that it merits consideration as a unique situation, where one cannot even compare the tremendous challenge facing Lincoln fairly.


Obama on long-term economic plans

Stimulus must build stronger nation, Obama says – MarketWatch

“I have confidence that not only are we going to be able to create jobs, but we’re also going to be making a down payment on some critical areas that, as the economy recovers and the private sector starts investing again, we’re going to see some long-term benefits and long- term savings,” Obama said at a press conference in Washington.

Obviously I don’t have the full text of the speech, and I am acknowledging that any news source is just one source, written a specific way.  But…on the one hand, I’m really glad to see intelligent, long-term thinking applied to this topic.  We must plan ahead.  We must lay down the groundwork for the future so that we will avoid this.  We must rethink what we are doing now.  Yes, we need to think this way.  I completely agree.

On the other, it’s kind of sad that a speech has to be made saying that a $775 billion plan needs to be more than a quick fix.  I know this is a big problem and any dollar amount should be more than a quick fix.  But as was mentioned in both my marketing and econ classes last night, a big part of stimulus is getting cash in the hands of people.  Cash in the hand is easy to understand.  Cutting interest rates as a way of reducing the cost of capital and therefore improving the liquidity status (essentially) or ability of individuals is a bit harder to understand…which means that talk about long-term needs to be done very delicately.  So far, the quoted items make it sound like Obama did a good job.

Anyway.  Random thought.

Different perspectives, same power to the message

Crip Chronicles: I Guess I’ve Been Holding My Breath…

I only today found out that one of my former colleagues at Stanford had a blog of her own.  I’ve always known her to be intelligent and witty and funny and a lot of other great things, and she is one of the people whom I always intend (but often fail) to find when I visit campus.  Every single conversation I have ever had with her has been a good one.  I am honestly pondering how accurate of a comment that is right now and stand by it.

So, it is entirely hilarious and appropriate that her blog is titled the “Crip Chronicles.” 

And it is not at all surprising that I am honestly, truly moved by what she writes in the linked post.

So now he’s African American…

I kept meaning to write this earlier – the day after our election, when Barack Obama was elected to office – but things have been busy.

As a very quick note, it has been interesting seeing how after the election, a lot more has been made of the fact that he will be the first African-American president ever.  Yes, it was brought up before, especially in the context of how the “you can do anything you want in America” would have a whole lot more meaning should he gain office.  But for the most part people and pundits talked about how the issue was the best person for the job, the person most capable of fixing the economy, etc.

But just hours after he was declared the winner it was all about race.  Very interesting.

Even more interesting was that on CNN’s “best political team” of analysts, the one African-American among them, when asked about the significance of the election, talked about how it was really about the voters picking the person they thought was best for the job.  The other four analysts all talked about race.

With great power comes great responsibility. And some people have weird interpretations of how to be responsible

Prop 8: The Ad That Upset the Mormon Church | Crooks and Liars

Hey, if you have massive influence, and can pay almost entirely on one’s own to sway an entire campaign…why not use it, eh?

Post to follow, but between T. Boone Pickens putting Prop 10 up on his own (I support that), the Mormons pushing Prop 8 all on their own (no on that) and then you think about how much money Obama has spent on this campaign, to the point where he himself might cause reform…how does one make an educated decision anymore?