Like many of my friends and neighbors, and much of the rest of the world (we’re talking just about every conscious person out there), I’m looking forward to a time now slightly less than a week away when George W. Bush will no longer be President of the United States.
That this will be a good is unquestionable–Bush’s contempt for those who did vote him, those who do not share his wealth, skin color or religious certainty, those who would restrain corporate criminals and polluters, those who do not live in this country and/or those who actually speak properly has done considerable damage to our nation and world. But as Democrat Barack Obama gets closer to taking the Oath of Office, I find myself getting increasingly concerned:
• Obama is preparing to spend the so-far unspent $350 billion in financial sector bailout money with little trepidation;
• Obama is hedging on whether he will restrict “special interrogation” interrogations as he promised during the campaign;
• Obama has said he’s “unlikely” to investigate past Bush Administration interrogation or domestic wiretapping practices that might have been illegal;
• Obama is perfectly willing to continue the practice of militarizing our nation’s intelligence and foreign policy by naming former generals as his Director of National Intelligence and National Security Adviser.
Is it possible we’re merely trading an arrogant, contemptible, anti-intellectual imperialist for a shrewd, articulate one? And given America’s military and economic power (steadily eroding though it may be), is it even possible to get anything other than these two choices?