Setting the Record Straight

August 21, 2008

A Vice President To Push Back

Obama’s Important Promise

     Shortly before Barack Obama announced his choice for a running mate, he made a profound statement, which, if he would hold to it, could make him a great president. A great president, that is, if the electorate bothers to pay attention to real issues.
     In a brief response to a reporter asking about whom he had selected, Obama said, “I want somebody who’s independent, somebody who can push against my preconceived notions and challenge me so we have a robust debate in the White House.”
     With his lack of experience, Obama needs that kind of vice president more than any other candidate. He needs someone with Washington experience who will tell him plainly that what he wants cannot be done, won’t be done, shouldn’t be done, or massage what he wants into something realistic. That holds true particularly in the area of foreign affairs.
     But especially in this day of rampant sycophancy, the next president needs someone who will challenge him and his ideas. A public ombudsman sitting in the corner of every policy-making office in government would be best, but that is a subject for another day.
     The current administration presents the best example of what happens when an uninformed president, or those pulling his strings, is surrounded by yes men.
     Nowhere is that danger more obvious than in the case of the toady that served as his White House legal council and groveled so well he was appointed attorney general.
     Alberto Gonzales was so eager to please, he aided and abetted a president who committed more crimes against the Constitution than Richard Nixon, the only president to resign in the face of certain impeachment.
     The president and/or his White House merely had to say, this is what I want, and Gonzales would eagerly do the bidding, twisting and mangling the law to justify broadly illegal and unconstitutional acts.  
     Say “good on you, Barack,” say “hurrah” if he actually means it, and say “thank you” from an appreciative America if he gets elected and actually carries through on the promise.



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