Ask your average American citizen what exactly the Secretary of the Commerce does and you’ll probably get a blank stare in reply. Besides the stated task “to foster, promote, and develop the foreign and domestic commerce,” it is a $8.2 billion agency that also oversees the census, broadband stimulus grants and trade policy.
Today it was handed over to the loving arms of Senator Judd Gregg, a Maine Republican with a 4 percent voting record for labor issues according to the AFL-CIO . Gregg is an advocate of free trade policies such as NAFTA and from all reports is as far from a progressive voice in politics as it gets.
Gregg at one time tried to abolish the department Obama is now asking him to lead. That sure should bolster the morale and confidence of the folks down at Commerce.
Then again, it is beginning to become apparent in the shaping of his new paradigm of how things are done in Washington, President Obama isn’t all that interested in putting progressives into positions of power in his administration.
It might have made sense had Gregg joining the Obama Administration meant the Democratic governor of Maine would have appointed a fellow Democrat to replace Gregg, but it didn’t work out that way. Knowing a Democrat replacing him (along with Al Franken if he ever takes his seat in the Senate) would have given Harry Reid the 60 votes he would need for a filibuster-proof majority, Gregg worked out a deal where he will be replaced by Bonnie Newman, who presumably will vote exactly the way her ex-boss would—with the GOP.
Gregg is the worst pick Obama has made yet. If I were a Hispanic who had voted for Obama and was pleased when he first picked Bill Richardson (before he withdrew his name), I’d be pissed. You mean to tell me there’s not another Hispanic qualified to run the Commerce Department besides Richardson? Even George Bush had a guy named Carlos Gutierrez to run the place for four years.
C’mon Barack! Are you even trying? Gregg is a terrible pick!
I’m sick of this blather about being “bipartisan.” The idea of being “bipartisan” is the biggest ball of bullcrap fed to the American public. There is NO REASON for to spend the limited time you’re in control kissing up to the losers and whiners on the other side.
Screw that noise. To the victor goes the spoils. The winners ride and the losers walk. Notice I have said NOTHING about the current state of Democrats in power and Republicans out of power. Doesn’t matter. When the Republicans are in power they’re supposed to advance the policies and programs their supporters want and dammit to hell, the Democrats need to play exactly the same way. Do what you were elected to do and shove it down the throats of the Republicans.
In the specific case of President Obama he needs to get to work on the HOPE and CHANGE he was sent to Washington to bring about and stop wasting his political capital breaking bread and drinking with people who are hellbent on making sure he fails spectacularly.
This is called “the exercise of political power” and either you’d better use it while you got it or you’re gonna lose it.
Maybe this is all part of some Machiavellian master plan and I’m just not smart enough to see how the endgame works out. At least that’s what I’m hoping because I’m just a little bit confused.