People are wondering...
Submitted By Todd on November 28th at 2:37pm
"I'm not in the camp that says, 'Give him a chance, because his vision will dominate,' " said Tom Hayden, a high-profile liberal and antiwar activist who said he supports Obama despite misgivings over his Cabinet picks. "I don't know what he's doing. This is not governing from the center. This is governing from the past."At Thanksgiving yesterday, Uncle Jerry (The Relentless Liberal) said he hears from lots of liberals who are in shock over the appointments revealed thus far - not a liberal among them! Of course, Jerry's perception of what a liberal is doesn't match up with yours and mine.
On ABC’s World News on Tuesday night, anchor Charles Gibson ran down the list of all the Obama cabinet appointments so far, and never found a liberal label for any of them, from Hillary Clinton to Tom Daschle.Hardcore liberals, the ones who fell for Barack's "I'm the real liberal" pitch and abandoned Hillary, don't view Daschle and Clinton as liberals. They want real live radicals appointed.
Liberal bloggers, who helped fuel Obama's grass-roots fund-raising and volunteer armies, are particularly vocal in their critique of Obama's choices so far. Some of them argue that competence and experience aren't substitutes for the right ideology. "How can selecting only pro-war Cabinet members and advisers be justified on the grounds of 'competence' - as though one's support for the War has nothing to do with competence?" asked blogger Glenn Greenwald, who also writes for the online journal Salon.Obama argues that experience is what's important, and appointing on ideology rather than expertise would be a mistake.
"What we are going to do is combine experience with fresh thinking," he said in his most detailed comments on the issue. "But I understand where the vision for change comes from. First and foremost, it comes from me. That's my job - to provide a vision in terms of where we are going, and to make sure then that my team is implementing."Jerry says liberals are also upset that Rahm Emanuel has been doing outreach with the GOP on Capital Hill, but has been ignoring Democrats.
Emanuel met today with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and the entire GOP leadership from that chamber for about 30 minutes, and is currently huddling with House Republican Conference Chairman Mike Pence (Ind.). A one-on-one session with House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (Va.) will follow the Pence meeting.Here's what Hope and Change look like to EJ Dionne.
In electing Barack Obama, the country traded the foreign policy of the second President Bush for the foreign policy of the first President Bush. That is the meaning of Obama's apparent decision to keep Robert Gates on as defense secretary and also to select Hillary Clinton as secretary of state.Business as usual.
With strong ties to the military and a carefully cultivated image of tough-mindedness, Clinton will protect the incoming president's back from those on the right ready to pounce at any sign of what they see as weakness. As for Gates, Obama has found the ideal figure to help him organize his planned withdrawal from Iraq, and to bless it.But Barack says they'll do his bidding, not follow their own ideologies. He needs the experienced hands who know how to implement.
What's most striking about Obama's approach to foreign policy is that he is less an idealist than a realist who would advance American interests by diplomacy, by working to improve the country's image abroad, and by using military force prudently and cautiously. This sounds a lot like the foreign policy of George H.W. Bush, and it makes perfect sense that Obama has had conversations with the senior Bush's closest foreign policy adviser, Brent Scowcroft. Obama has drawn counsel from many in Scowcroft's circle, and Gates himself was deputy national security adviser under Scowcroft.Not the kind of news to warm the hearts of the wackos. Uncle Jerry argues that a president, like any manager, needs to be exposed to diverse viewpoints from his managers so he can decide between competing visions. He doesn't see any diversity of opinion represented by the choices made thus far by Barack.