01/13/2009 02:49 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Obama Would Be Better Off Appointing William Seward

We have a very simple rule when it comes to political appointments: if Fred Barnes likes the appointee, then something somewhere is terminally wrong. Perhaps many of you strode to the voting booth in November with one goal in mind, to reassure Max Boot. Others no doubt wanted to "change" from the placate-the-wealthy policies of Hank Paulson to the appease-the-affluent policies of Robert Rubin.

Granted, Obama did not campaign as Robespierre so we didn't expect Dick Cheney riding an ox cart to the guillotine. And yes, if we're pissed off now imagine how many Clinton people President Hillary would've appointed!

Who knows, maybe Hillary will be a great Secretary of State. Maybe she will stop using words like "obliterate." Maybe she will now read the pertinent documents before signing off on hundreds of thousands of deaths. But if it was up to us, we would've gone with William Seward.

Except for himself, Seward would bring many things to the table. The gravitas of actually having served under Lincoln. Advice that would be consistent and devoid of personal ambition. And most importantly, Mrs. Seward would not be running around the globe ad-libbing speeches at $500,000 a pop.

Yet whatever happens, we voted for Obama with the hope that he will do less evil. Sure there are things we'd love to see -- abolish the inane office of Drug Czar for one. But don't expect the mainstream media to hold the new administration to account. A serial point-misser like David Gregory can dance just as slavishly behind Emanuel as he did behind Rove.

The future? Kevin Phillips was on CSPAN for three hours this past Sunday. It was impossible to come away from those three hours not knowing how utterly vile the Bush administration is and how semi-vile the Clinton administration was. And if Obama does not somehow manage to at least get this country health care, and free it as much as possible from the vice grip of the banks and financiers, we, as a people, will be irredeemably screwed. And not even Lincoln would be able to save us again.

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