To quote the relevant bits of "A Message to Obama's Progressive Critics":
This is not a time for the left wing of our Party to draw conclusions about the Cabinet and White House appointments that President-Elect Obama is making...This is an outrage! With chocolate sauce and a cherry on top. I will bite into it. Viciously, I tell you, viciously.
As a liberal member of our Party, I hope and expect our new president to address those issues that will benefit the vast majority of Americans first and foremost. That's his job. Over time, there will be many, many issues that come before him. But first let's get our economy moving, bring our troops home safely, fix health care, end climate change and restore our place in the world.
There's no question that Obama's game is to accomplish a whole bunch of liberal aims by selling them as centrist. And good on him for gaming it that way; I'm starting to think it might actually work.
I'm torn between whether Hildebrand's play here is really to get us lefties to shut up so the Administration can get stuff done, or whether he's actually trying to fan the left-v.-center flames a bit to reinforce Obama's centrist cred as he passes universal health care, climate change legislation, and a stimulus package with SUPERTRAINS, and ends the war.
Hell, it probably works either way.
Bill Clinton did the centrist thing and it seemed to open the door for Bush in that he could too claim he was a "centrist". At some point it is important to make sure that people understand conservatives don't want universal health care or social security or a whole host of other things that conservatives are against. So I guess the trick is to let people know that the things you are doing that people like are in fact only going to happen with liberals in charge or you can get another George Bush.
Although I'm also annoyed by some of the kvetching over Obama's cabinet choices, if there is push back from "the left," I think it is a good thing. What I don't want to see is a replay of the first years of the Bush presidency, when conservatives became so invested in Bush that they were unable to criticize him when he fucked up (which was often). Healthy progressive skepticism not only keeps the Obama Administration on its toes (since they can't simply assume progressive support), it keeps us honest.
Jamelle, while lefty skepticism is a good thing, of course, I don't think it's worth being wrong. That's the problem I have the kvetching coming from the Openleft crowd and their affiliates. Even Greenwald. I think their analysis is wrong.
I mean, I am as left-wing as the next Donkeylicious commenter, and I have no problems with these picks, which have all seemed quite good, if not coups. I mean, he got the man who all but built toe present House to be his Chief of Staff. I don't care about the man's politics too much because I am too happy to see Obama co-opting all that influence. He is amassing an enormous pool of power, prestige, and expertise, aimed towards creating an incredibly efficient, effective government. All focused on carrying out Obama's agenda. So when people complain about the picks, all I see people who don't get it.
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