Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Memo to Obama: Moving Forward Doesn't Mean You Can't Also Look Back


Most of these calls for a public investigation of the Bush administration are from people who have something to gain if it is productive (mostly a personal boost to their ego from being right), but nothing to lose if it is not. I think Obama recognizes that there are some very big political risks to himself that come with attempting to investigate, and possibly prosecute, the former administration. Last I checked, he has a lot of goals for his presidency, and pursuing Bush could jeopardize every one of them. It risks becoming a huge mess that would dominate his presidency, overshadowing everything and further alienating people he may need to work with.



I'm inclined to believe he's taking the right course at this point. Perhaps he may set up an investigation, but it should be as low-key as possible, and not the media circus we saw in the Clinton years. Attempting to prosecute Clinton cost the Republicans in the 1998 congressional election, and Obama knows better than to repeat history with a similarly sloppy move, IMO. I think he should continue to dodge the question, and set up a very quiet preliminary investigation to decide if something more public might be a good move.
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I'm a Christian and political moderate (I tend to be more liberal on core issues and more conservative on the hot-button ones). I have a B.A. in Biblical and Religious Studies and Philosophy.