The Obama Team & the Nation Return to Normalcy & Beyond


Cleveland, OH: Marcus A. Hanna Mausoleum, Lake View Cemetery 5/24/10

Updated 1/27/13 at 8:40 a.m.

           At his inauguration in 1921, Warren G. Harding told a World War and Woodrow Wilson weary country, ‘Our supreme task is the resumption of our onward, normal way….  We must strive to normalcy to reach stability.’

           Ninety-two years later, we heard much about hope from the re-elected Barack H. Obama II.  But by week’s end, Progressives knew the Democrats’ inner Harding had retreated beyond normalcy and retrieved stability.

           At Treasury, ‘too big to fail’ will remain the watchword at the henhouse presided over by foxes.

           At Justice and the Securities Exchange Commission, ‘too big to jail’ will guide us, whilst the revolving door to the mega-law firms that defend corporations and banks continues its spin – and statutes of limitations expire.

           At the collective consciousness called the stock market, the 2009 inside joke at CitiGroup, ‘too big to fail, too shit to buy’[1], has become January 26’s front page New York Times story, ‘As worries ebb, small investors propel market’.  (Treasury and the Fed should start lifeboat drills Monday morning.)

           At the Senate, Thursday Democratics proved, yet again, ‘too dumb to learn’.  Not only did they re-enshrine the filibuster, they got nothing for handing control to the shrunken minority.  And not only did they get zilch, they promised not to disturb Sen. McConnell again on the matter in this Congress.

           At the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on Friday, a panel headed by Jesse Helms protégé and now Chief Judge David B. Sentelle established that Democrats are ‘too stupid to govern’ when it declared invalid (probably correctly) Pres. Obama’s recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board.

           Sentelle, whose nurturing of Republican witch hunts during the Clinton Administrations is just one of many examples of how he’s changed history, stands as the exemplar of how packing courts with conservatives has changed America.

          He, his two Republican-appointed compatriots and the two long-term vacancies on the most important appeals court in the country bespeak the success of the Republican strategy of ‘no’ on Obama judicial appointments.

           When the Republican Senate majority threatened Democrats in 2005 with the nuclear option on the filibuster, it was over nominees to the Federal appeals court Sentelle presides over.  The Ds quickly folded and gave the Rs votes on George W. Bush’s nominees.

           This year’s Senate Ds extracted no such concession.

           In a not totally different context, NHL Hall of Fame defenseman, Brad Park, said, ‘You know I have a new favorite expression: stupid is forever. I never met a part-time stupid person. They’re all full-time.’[2]

           Full-time, forever: the Ds.  And without even a cross-check from a Broad Street Bully.


           At the White House on Friday, ‘too high to see the whites of their eyes’ will continue to guide our outreach in contested areas, as the President chose a chief of staff from the national security apparatus.  If the collateral damage from drones weren’t so effective in alienating locals, the ‘dead men — their dead men — tell no tales’ intelligence policy might look something less like poking out one’s eyes to see better.

End update



           1.  “A House Built on Sandy,” Economist, January 17, 2009, p. 71.

           2.  Kevin Paul Dupont, “Park Levels Some Blasts at NHLPA” Boston Globe, Sept. 24, 2009, pp. D1, D3. Park played for New York, Boston and Detroit.