Hillary Rodham Clinton’s appointment as Secretary of State bodes poorly for American troops that have been bogged down in an increasingly unpopular war in Iraq. American deaths are fast approaching 4,200 according to the Department of Defense. Clinton supported this unpopular war up until time public support turned overwhelmingly against it.
The road to achieving a national health care policy that is both affordable and accessible just got longer under the appointment of Secretary of Health and Human Services, Tom Daschle. With high paid medical lobbyists positioned as a major obstacle to health reform, now we will have a Secretary of Health whose spouse is a lobbyist for the health care companies. Daschle himself worked for a firm whose clients are made up of leading pharmaceutical interests.
Finally, the volatile issue of immigration has torn this nation apart emotionally and physically. In Arizona, Gov. Janet Napolitano has refused to confront the lawless sheriff Joe Arpaio who terrorizes, citizens and non-citizens alike, or armed paramilitary organizations that hunt immigrants in the desert.
Meanwhile, Arizona’s labor shortage due to anti-immigrant hysteria has negatively impacted an economy already in trouble. The University of Arizona predicts so-called employment verification–coupled with and enforcement-only strategy—has cost the economy billions of dollars in lost income and revenue. All of this unfolding under the leadership of Gov. Janet Napolitano, the probable head of Homeland Security.
Instead of preparing to take on accessible health care, withdrawal from Iraq, and fair immigration reform with audacity, the President-Elect is already bogging down his administration in the politics of the old. After eight years of failed policies the American public voted for a change based on the belief that the country needs—no deserves—new leadership.
On the economy, Obama reached back to the Bill Clinton years and hired the disciples of former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin, a man who helped deregulate the financial industry. That deregulation led to our current economic crisis.
These are the faces, and this is the politics, of the old.
America’s vote for Barack Obama was a down payment on a new future. It’s time to remind the incoming administration exactly what we paid for.