Way back in 1971, the English rock band The Who had a hit song called “Won’t Get Fooled Again.”
It was an interesting song for the times – with the air of revolution wafting through America’s campuses and streets. This was a song that said it was all futile – with the key lyric line being, “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.”
That’s kind of how I feel about the incoming Barack Obama administration.
This is change!
This is the same old, same old.
For the most part, Barack Obama’s new prescriptions represent nothing but tired, old, discredited ideas that have failed every time they have been tried in history.
I’m not surprised. In fact, I predicted it.
I even got very specific last August 21 when I boldly proclaimed I knew who would be named defense secretary – no matter who won the election, John McCain or Obama. This week, I was proven right when it was announced Obama had picked the establishment’s guy – Robert Gates.
Obama warned that a McCain administration would be Bush III. What we got instead was Clinton-Bush VI.
How did I know?
Here’s what he said that got my attention – and nobody else’s: “We cannot continue to rely on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives we’ve set. We’ve got to have a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded.”
Obama never fully explained what he meant by a “civilian national security force” with a budget equaling our current Defense Department. No reporters ever bothered to ask him. But I kept poking around. I began searching that phrase. I found it had been used previously in a series of speeches by someone else.
That someone else was Robert Gates.
I further discovered that Obama was a big fan of Gates. He told the Army Times in July: “I do think that Secretary Gates has brought a level of realism and professionalism and planning to the job that is worthy of praise. I think that the Pentagon is operating more effectively. I think he has improved greatly the relationships with the Joint Chiefs and the military generally.”
I also learned McCain was a big fan of Gates.
It was about this time I got the idea to write my last book, “None of the Above: Why 2008 Is the Year for the Ultimate Protest Vote.” I knew there was no substantive difference between Obama and McCain. Neither was going to lead America in a new direction. They were both going to take the nation down the same, old road.
I must note that people thought I was stark, raving insane when I made this proclamation.
I was told by my Republican friends that only McCain would protect America. Only he understood national security and defense issues. My Democrat friends told me there was no way Obama would ever choose a Bush guy to run his Defense Department. After all, he was the anti-war candidate and Bush was the war-monger.
I take no pleasure in being right about this.
I wish I were wrong.
I wish the American people had a real choice in 2008.
But we didn’t. The fix was in. Either way, the “permanent establishment” was going to be running the government.
What you see happening with these Cabinet appointments is the proof of what I said.
And I’m still wondering what these guys mean when they talk about a “civilian national security force.” I have a feeling no matter what it is, I won’t like it.
Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss.