Sunday, April 17, 2011

Kelly, Tea Partier ...

So I didn't post last week on Jack Kelly. Although I thought his column lacked any sense of history or circumstance, I found myself somewhat in agreement with the thought that it might be time to leave Afghanistan some time soon (it doesn't look like there is much we can do, short of taking action like replacing Karzai summarily, that will change the equation there).

This week Kelly is using facts to make his accusations. Now, I am not sure the accusations Kelly make are actually legitimate, but I will point out that Glenn Greenwald has made similar accusations. So, I won't take on Kelly line by line; Obama certainly has things of the sort Kelly mentions to answer for.

That said, where I do take issue with Kelly is in his total lack of a historical sense and no sense of perspective about the situation in government. The second Kelly mentions the constitution (as in "Our Constitution permits Congress to delegate ..., but makes no provision for waivers ..."), I think back to George Bush (or more accurately his advisers) advancing the "Unitary Executive" theory of the Presidency. Complaining about waivers for the healthcare bill ("Obamacare" as Mr Kelly so disrespectfully and tellingly puts it) make me think about Cheney's secret meetings with energy industry executives, and the mineral rights essentially given away to industry during the Bush administration.

Kelly's references to the constitution and his accusations that Obama has broken the law are, to me, clear signs that Kelly is in the bag for the Tea Party. This kind of blatant pandering is offensive to me, to present issues as facts when in fact they are actually in support of an agenda. To only complain when a Democrat is in the White House is reprehensible. And before anyone accuses me of the same thing, I would point to my linking to and talking up Greenwald. Also I will express my hope that Obama will make good on some of the things he said in his speech on Wednesday. Let's repeal at least the Bush tax cuts for the rich.

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