Posted by: Puma1 | November 24, 2008

Obama I or Clinton III: Appointments Not Looking Like Transformative Change

The chatter around the blogosphere is all about Obama sudden lurch to the right, or, to the Clintonites:

An unexpected pre-holiday treat has been the freak out amongst the ObamaPod faithful about how moderate Obama’s cabinet picks have been so far…watching the Kos Kidz head’s pop has leapfrogged seeing conservative sexual hypocrites implode for pure delight in my book…

This year I never could decipher if Obama was a Wall Street stooge or a far lefty whiner. It is apparent so far that he favors Wall Street over Marx (Karl)…

Obama’s goal would seem to be competence – hence all the Clinton left overs. Change is taking a back seat to Shift. Often slight shifts by the look of it…I doubt he’ll be popular in a year. He hasn’t got the goods or the balls…

The Clinton middle ground worked wonders in the 90’s. In the midst of a depression it may look more like Gerald Ford than FDR.

The media is starting to choke back compulsive adulation and will have to actually question him in a few months. By Summer the vocal Whole Foods Left will be in a state of Ophelia like insanity – throwing itself in the handiest river.

Clintonism you can believe in, no? Some are keeping an eye on Obama’s expensive, pie-in-the-sky campaign promises, making sure we know when they are broken, one by one.

Others are wondering when Obama’s liberal backers will hold him accountable for his doublespeak and Clinton-hating hypocrisy:

In fact, in his appointments, and in what can be divined of his foreign policy, there are loud echoes of the last Democratic administration, and also of that lady he beat in the primaries, the one the netroots didn’t like very much. Certainly, some of Obama’s supporters are getting a little nervous about what this all presages about an Obama White House. “The list [of disappointments] is getting awfully long,” wrote the blogger bmaz at Firedoglake. “Almost as long as Barack Obama’s arm that he used to take our money and efforts to get himself elected…”

…To date, the president-elect’s most notable difference of opinion with his supporters is probably on the subject of Joe Lieberman. He seems to have escaped blame for the Democratic failure to punish Lieberman last week, though Senate Democrats would certainly have been tougher on the Connecticut senator had Obama not intervened on his behalf. Harry Reid, instead, is becoming the fall guy for the slap on the wrist Lieberman received. That’s either evidence of denial on the part of many Obama fans, or a sign that, among liberals, Obama has far more goodwill to burn than Reid has…

But the big sticking point for many of Obama’s intra-party critics is the strong strain of Clintonism running through appointments…

“You could have had an administration with a sprinkling of Clinton people, it would have been fine,” said Robert Kuttner, co-editor of the American Prospect and a distinguished senior fellow at Demos, a liberal think tank (and a longtime critic of Bill Clinton’s centrist economic policies). “But when so many of the top people are holdovers, and he’s promoting change, you have to say, wait a minute.” Republicans are hoping to exploit any disconnect between Obama and his supporters — the Republican National Committee has been sending reporters e-mail blasts of background research on each potential Cabinet pick, pointing out how many are Washington insiders with long ties to the Clinton administration…

The list of Clinton alums in the transition or the administration starts with Hillary Clinton, who is reportedly set to take over at State, then goes to Emanuel, the incoming White House chief of staff, transition co-chairman (and Clinton White House chief of staff) John Podesta…Eric Holder, whom Obama will reportedly nominate as attorney general, was a deputy at the Justice Department under Clinton. New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, who is likely to be named Commerce secretary soon, had several Clinton administration jobs…Clinton’s former Treasury secretary, Lawrence Summers, will be a senior White House economic advisor and nearly got his old job back — which progressives are particularly alarmed about…

Some antiwar activists are also starting to wonder what happened to the Obama who first rose to prominence in the Iowa caucuses because he opposed the war. “Obama always really used to his advantage the fact that he did not support the Iraq war in the beginning, and that was a key argument that he used to discredit Hillary Clinton, and something that he was able to tout to his benefit,” said Kelly Dougherty, executive director of Iraq Veterans Against the War. “People put all this hope into getting Obama elected — the reasons were much deeper. They didn’t just want to get him elected, but they want to see real change.” Add in Clinton, at State, and Vice President-elect Joe Biden, and Obama would be getting foreign policy and military advice from a lot of people who supported the Iraq war. And then there are people who are rumored to be under consideration who worked for someone far more hated on the left than Hillary Clinton. If Bush’s secretary of defense, Robert Gates, sticks around, how will that play with the base? How about John Brennan, who worked at the CIA earlier in the Bush administration and whom Obama is rumored to like for a top intelligence job (either at CIA or as director of national intelligence)? The Brennan rumor is already proving divisive because of his support for torture…

Ah, change you can believe in is torture you can believe in. Good to know.



  1. How about.. you’re crazy?


    Hey folks don’t you think arguing about “obama policies” is a bit presumptuous?

    HE’S NOT EVEN PROVED THAT HE’S A NATURAL BORN U.S. CITIZEN! And the truth is HE CAN’T because he was BORN IN KENYA and he doesn’t have a certificate of LIVE BIRTH for the State of Hawaii, only a “certification” for FILE purposes only and of which would not even allow a person to get a drivers license.

    Here’s Chief Justice Clarence Thomas’ fax# 202-479-2971 write him TODAY – if you don’t know what to say, use the letter below as a sample.

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