The Democrats want to push legislation that will abandon the concept of a secret ballot for union members but have a secret ballot process for themselves in the Senate. The Democrats used a secret ballot vote to decide if Senator Joe Lieberman will remain in the good graces of the party and retain his committee chairmanship. Interesting.
Senator Hillary Clinton is an excellent choice for Secretary of State. Let's think about the possibilities.
Hillary Clinton has the experience under her belt of traveling the world, as she did at every possible opportunity as First Lady. She and Bill Clinton used their office and positions as a dream personal travel club. And they took plane loads of friends and family along on the taxpayer's dime, too.
Hillary Clinton will be able to stop padding her foreign policy experience. She'll really be going to places where shots are fired and she won't be stuck having tea with other leaders' wives.
Hillary Clinton knows how to keep secrets. She won't be blabbing State secrets to The New York Times to embarrass those not supporting her in top policy decisions and actions.
The best part? She'll be an excellent wet blanket to Joe Biden's elbowing into the job. Biden will be stopped in his tracks from traveling around the globe speaking in his usual gaffe mode. Plus, Joe Biden has a long record of being on the wrong side of history in his voting positions. The fact that Barack Obama chose Biden to provide meat to the bare foreign policy bones of his presidency indicates that Obama is still in rookie mode.
The question is: Will Hillary be able to pass the questionnaire? Potential appointees are being subjected to a questionnaire that is personally intrusive at a whole new level in the incoming administration of change. Who knew 'change' meant the return of McCarthy?
Can you imagine if a Republican president-elect required potential appointees to tell about any potential embarrassing e-mails; associations; detailed lists of earnings over the course of the last 10 years including every speaking engagement, written pieces, royalties, honoraria, etc; every consulting commitments; and the best one - any controversial matters.
What's a controversial matter? I thought liberals believed the evil Republicans were eliminating all personal freedom in the name of national security. I thought we were not to judge on the basis of association and personal history. Or, is it just Barack Obama himself that gets a free pass?
Who hasn't sent an e-mail only to later regret the wording? Who hasn't taken a meeting only later to think, why did I waste my time with that person? And...who doesn't have family members in the wings representing ticking time bombs?
How about people living with a significant other without the benefit of formal marriage? What about same sex couples? Are we not told what happens behind closed doors is the business of no one? Certainly not the government?
Liberals claim to hold the right to privacy as sacred and believe that Republicans do not hold the same belief. It's nonsense but Liberals love to hold on to a self-proclaimed superiority in all things civil rights. They do not remember history.
Certainly an incoming president has to have people around him or her that will pass the smell test. We remember the problems the past Clinton administration had with social security tax issues for household staff, etc., of potential appointees. Since the questionnaire even specifically asks about involvement with entities like Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, AIG, and Washington Mutual, the president-elect himself would have to fess up to that. Would he pass his own test?
The answer is no. He would not pass his own test. No one would. And, that is the point. The reason we have a continuous loop of political appointees that flow from one administration to the next within their own party is that the scrutiny is too intense, too minute, to encourage new blood. The country is in desperate need of fresh ideas; creative minds with lesser egos; talented thinkers willing to go out on a limb with new solutions. If the process from the start is so intrusive and complicated from an expanded intrusion of personal privacy, the number of applicants will continue to diminish. There must be a better balance.
Looks as though the candidate of change has received the cold bucket of water in the face that is the reality of the office. Reports are that the presidential decisions that have been made since the creation of the office of homeland security and many executive decisions since the attacks of 9/11/01 that brought about cries of the vanishing civil rights of our fellow citizens are being reconsidered. Suddenly the intrusive and evil Bush administration looks a whole lot more logical now that the new team is being fully briefed of the threats coming our way. Barack Obama just may realize that he needs all the tools in the toolbox provided to him in continuing the record of safety on our own soil that President Bush has produced. There is a reason we have not been attacked here at home since that terrible Tuesday seven years ago.
Hillary Clinton will have the benefit of a former First Lady. So will her husband benefit from his former office. They will not have to be scrutinized as others will so she'll breeze into the position.
Madame Secretary Clinton. Has a ring to it.