David Sirota has built his own personal celebrity in recent months – getting more column work, raising his visibility as a blogger, and appearing as a contributor on such broadcasts as the Rachel Maddow Show. It is with gleeful irony that I found his latest, perhaps worst and most intellectually dishonest and insulting piece of work, “Obama Ate the Left, And We Shouldn’t Blame Him At All. But What Do We Do Now?”
If anyone took him seriously before this mind-numbing rant, then please, be convinced – as I have been for a long time – that he is not someone with the intellectual heft, let alone the maturity, to be considered a legitimate analyst. Yes, tough words, but I have had enough encounters with him on DailyKos and read enough of his junk to last a lifetime.
In a small piece of overlooked news, I’m happy to report that Tom Vilsack will not be named Secretary of Agriculture:
Former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack today said that he won’t be the next agriculture secretary, ending speculation that an Iowan would snag the post important to a large swath of the state’s economy.
In an e-mail, Vilsack said he had never been contacted by aides to President-elect Barack Obama about that position or any other.
Why do I see this as good news? No disrespect to Gov. Vilsack, who I’m sure is a capable guy, but his views are too inexorably tied to his state and its central role in our food system. Indeed, he’s been one of the earliest and biggest pushers of corn-based ethanol as a solution to our energy crisis.
Now, to be fair, this is not Obama’s strongest issue as he too hails from a midwest, corn-producing state.
But, in an ideal world, the agriculture secretary will be someone who will start to wean us off this corn-based, centrally-managed food system (which, by the way, is highly vulnerable to disruption and attack) and instead move us to a more regional system.