“(Huey P Long) would tell how patent medicine men used to concoct a mixture to sell to Negroes as a hair-straightener. The makers called it ‘high popalorum’ or ‘low popahirum,’ depending on how they manufactured it. They made the first by tearing the bark of a tree down, and the second by tearing the bark up. Governor Long said, “The only difference I’ve found in Congress between the Republican and Democratic leadership is that one of them is skinning us from the ankle up and the other from the ear down.”
Regarding Obama keeping Bob Gates on at Defense for some indeterminate period of time, Bob Gates is a Scowcroft guy and this signals the alliance between the Brent Scowcroft wing of the Republican Party - in foreign policy terms referred to as the "The Realists", and the Democrats - referred to as the "International Interventionists" Both groups are ditching the neoconservatives.
Scowcroft didn't endorse McCain and this wing of the Republican party sealed the deal when they had Colin Powell endorse Obama. Scowcroft has been an important player, far in the background and not for public consumption, in this political season. Chuck Hagel is very close to Scowcroft. He and Powell are close too. He's the guy who brings all this stuff together.
It's also worth knowing that Scowcroft has also been involved in a multi-year rearguard battle against the neocons in the Bush administration. He famously published an editorial in the WSJ against the war in Iraq prior to the invasion and he has been involved in key efforts to block sundry wars with Iran, etc.
Obama's Gates' decision is a clear and unambiguous signal of this de facto alliance with the Scowcroft/GOP foreign policy world.
The Old Establishment Republicans, main street Republicans, country club Republicans, secular Republicans the Rockefeller Republicans and the much of the Goldwater Republicans have ditched the crazies - the Neocons and the Palenites. They have no choice, the Party and the country is bankrupt.
Obama has moved to the right to facilitate this new American political alliance and quite possibly a new politcal party. The Palenites will go the way of the Know Nothing Party of the 1840-50's
The false dichotomy which is the American two party system and other similar political arrangements (Venezuela, for example) collapse into the singular entity which they really are in times of crisis. The foreign policy, economic and political elites of this country are rapidly approaching the mother of all crisis'and must circle the wagons. Partisanship and ration cards are a bad mix.
Times like these provide a unique and rare opening for a real left-wing political alternative to arise against the two-winged US Property Party. Of course, it also provides a rare opening for a real fascist alternative.