No wonder Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va., and GOP whip, quipped, "It is easy for the other side to advocate for higher taxes because -- you know what? -- they don't pay them."
On a serious note, it is not in America's national interest to make it impossible for human beings, who err, to survive the ruthless Beltway gauntlet. But it also is not in the country's interest to hand incompetent (or venal) people the keys to the kingdom. After all that campaign talk about keeping former lobbyists out of policy-making, Obama tapped a former politician who cashed in upon losing re-election -- making $5 million over two years, including more than $200,000 speaking to the health care industry -- to be his go-to guy on health care.
I sure hope Americans did not elect another president who values loyalty over competence. In 2006, D.C. Democrats told voters that they wanted to upturn the GOP Congress' "culture of corruption." That lasted maybe two years. Maybe. Now it's business as usual. The Senate confirmed Geithner by a 60-34 vote. Ten Republicans supported him, while a mere three Democrats did not. "How can Mr. Geithner speak with any credibility or authority?" one of the three -- Iowa's Sen. Tom Harkin -- rightly asked.
Daschle is expected to slide through the Senate confirmation as well. Obama said Monday that he "absolutely" supports Daschle. Democratic senators will support him, and some Republican senators will, too. They are, after all, members of the same club.
The careful vetting of would-be officials in Obamadom that you read about in November? Well, for the right people, it turns out to have had a rubber stamp at its bottom.