Take Power And Rule

Valerie Jarrett, co-chair of Barack Obama’s Transition Team was interviewed by Tom Brokaw on Meet the Press this weekend (November 9th, 2008) and she discussed her views on the transition from the Bush presidency to the Obama presidency.

Let me politely say that some of her words on the topic of Obama’s presidency were unfortunate.

YouTube excerpt from Valerie Jarrett’s interview on Meet the Press on November 9, 2008:

I must say that I’m not particularly pleased with the attitude displayed by Jarrett in regards to how Obama should proceed with his administration. I’m not alone either. Various Conservatives and Constitutionalists are already jumping on Jarrett’s gaffe as being a harbinger of the dictatorial excesses to come from President Obama. Much like Rahm Emanuel’s appointment as Chief of Staff, Valerie Jarrett’s gaffe – already being called a Freudian slip by some – does not bode well.

However, given the daunting challenges that we face, it’s important that president elect Obama is prepared to really take power and begin to rule day one.

– Valerie Jarrett
November 9th Meet The Press Interview

In the United States our leaders “take office;” they do not “take power.” In the United States our leaders “govern” or “serve;” they do not “rule.” To rule is the province of kings, and America is staunchly opposed to such beings – at least within the US.

To be fair, there is no evidence so far that President-Elect Barack Obama harbors any delusions of being either able or allowed to rule as opposed to govern, serve, and administrate. Jarrett’s words and possible views should not be granted more weight than they deserve.

I believe that what should be of primary concern is that such views as “take power and rule” intimate show a certain type and level of expectations that are being placed upon Obama by his advisers, backers, and supporters. Many people crave “Change” as was proved by the recent elections. Obama may have trouble meeting their expectations while operating within the constitutionally bound powers of the Presidency.

Some secondary concern should be given to the idea of Obama at least maintaining a semblance of humility and bipartisanship in the wake of such a bitterly contested election. Neither Emanuel’s appointment or Jarrett’s comments show any such semblance and serve only to entrench the Right and further fuel the Left’s expectations of “payback.”

Related Reading:

Did Somebody Say Totalitarianism?: 5 Interventions in the (Mis)Use of a Notion (The Essential Zizek)
How Democratic is the American Constitution? Second Edition
Marxism, Fascism, and Totalitarianism: Chapters in the Intellectual History of Radicalism
What You Should Know About Politics . . . But Don't: A Non-Partisan Guide to the Issues That Matter
Pocket Constitution (Text from the U.S. Bicentennial Commission Edition)

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7 Responses to “Take Power And Rule”

  1. chamay0 Says:

    I take it then he should not be like the out going president Bush who coined all the phrases of wanting to be a dictator and ruler and was.

  2. Susan Says:

    I didn’t comment on this one–don’t know what to make of that sliip–but I did comment on your previous post. Thanks for dropping by my blog. Nice chatting.

  3. jonolan Says:

    Chamay0,

    You take it correctly. Bush never had a mandate and neither does Obama.

    Now, if you want four more years of the same behavior, just with the roles reversed, that’s one thing. If you’re looking for Obama to uphold his promises of “change” and a new style of politics, that’s another.

  4. Sue Says:

    The Way I see it is that Obama at least represents the POSSIBILITY of something new emerging. Whereas McCain represented an extension of the same policies brought to one and all, and the entire planet by the neo-psychopaths.

    If anything positive and constructive can be done remains to be seen, especially as a result of the cultural wrecking project wrought upon EVERY USA cultural institution during the Bush years.

    And of the wreckage caused and done to inter-national cultural and political agencies which however imperfectly were able to maintain at least the possibility of some kind of cooperative international order.

  5. jonolan Says:

    Sue,

    So far it looks like Obama’s administration will be just a slightly more Left leaning “extension of extension of the same policies brought to one and all, and the entire planet by the” neo-Socialists of the Clinton White House.

    Of course there’s also the strong possibility that Obama will be expected to be less inclusive and more dictatorial in his application. He may expect to – or be expected to – rule instead of govern.

  6. Why Obama Will Fail | Reflections From a Murky Pond Says:

    [...] Assistant to the President for Intergovernmental Relations and Public Liaison, Valerie Jarrett, made it clear how she felt when Obama was first elected President. However, given the daunting challenges that we [...]

  7. King Barack? | Reflections From a Murky Pond Says:

    [...] King Barack indeed! I guess he’s been listen the filth, Valerie Jarrett, too much and has decided to take power and rule. [...]

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