Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Good Thing/Bad Thing...Obama's Transition and Appointment Rumors

1. Let's start with the big one. Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State. 
Good Thing: During her time in the white house she met with many foreign leaders in a diplomatic setting. 
Bad Thing: She pretty thoroughly bashed Obama's ideas on foreign relations during the primaries. Is he to trust that she'll follow his lead now?
Good Thing: Team of Rivals. It's probably a good thing to have people who disagree with you in your cabinet.
Bad Thing: Obama is making the same mistake that cost McCain the election. We don't want a return to the Bush/Clinton years. Bringing a CLinton in really undermines that notion.
Verdict: Bad Thing. There are better people out there than Clinton who can keep doing the things she likes as Senator in New York. I would think a better choice would be Bill Richardson who was our UN ambassador for a time as well as Secretary of Energy.

2. Jim Ramstad as head of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.
Good Thing: Ramstad is a Republican. See Team of Rivals.
Bad Thing: Opposes medical marijuana.
Good Thing: Recovering addict, so is not completely unaware when making claims about drug addicts.
Bad Thing: Worked for 27 years on anti-drug efforts by the government. You know, that "War" on drugs that has helped to put 1% of our population in jail. 
Verdict: Bad, but could be worse. Look, we already have drug czar creator Biden, so I don't think we need another person in this administration who is coo-coo for locking up hippies. This also is a point against Obama's campaign talk when he discussed decriminalizing marijuana. 
Disclosure: For those who read this and don't really know me, I have a similar view to Penn Jillette in that I have never taken any illegal drug including marijuana and have never had any desire to, but still find the war on drugs to be a ridiculous waste of time, money, and law enforcement resources to the detriment of our individual freedom. 

3. Susan Crawford and Kevin Werbach for the FCC transition team.
Good Thing: Big proponents of net-neutrality. For those who don't know, net-neutrality is the notion that the internet should remain a level playing field for anyone who wold enter it. Without it in place, certain companies, such as your internet provider, could charge websites a fee to direct traffic to their site faster and easier than other sites among other internet roadblocks. Nothing would hamper the innovation of the web more than such a policy, which is why net-neutrality is so important.
Bad Thing: FCC is still a nightmare so it's not clear to me how much they can really accomplish.
Verdict: Looks good to me. 

The Rational Moderate


Mike to the D. said...

I do not have much of a problem with Ramstad other then he will probably continue the failed policies of the war on drugs. I will say there are some parts of the war on drugs which I agree with such as battling the Mexican drug cartels which have plagued the south west for years. Phoenix has been particularly hard hit in recent months. The policies I refer to are ones which lump the guy who has 2 or 3 plants in his basement for personal use with the pushers of crack, heroin, and the like. These are just not reasonable comparisons and have put a lot of people in jail.
I also do not have any complaints about the FCC duo. Being a tech nerd myself, net-neutrality is a huge issue for me as changing this policy would directly effect my ability to do business. Yay net-neutrality.
I do have a huge issue with Hillary for the Secretary of State. Now I have never been a huge fan of Mrs. Clinton but it would seem to me that bringing in someone who has not only trashed your personal foreign policy's but is also the wife of a former president whose own foreign policy's don't align with yours is a huge mistake. There must be someone else better suited for this job.

Mr. Rational Moderate, I was surprised to see nothing in here about the Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel. Any thoughts on him?

Rational Moderate said...

Since Emanuel was announced first and was a clear pick as opposed to these which are likely but not certain (at the time of the initial post) I left him off. As far as my opinion of him, I don't really have one. I think he'll be fine in that he is apparently hard-headed yet it sounds like he is really well-liked by many Republican politicians. It's probably a good thing for the President's "Gatekeeper."