History

The More Things Change

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The Nation's Christopher Hayes is none too happy with President-elect Barack Obama's cabinet picks:

Not a single, solitary, actual dyed-in-the-wool progressive has, as far as I can tell, even been mentioned for a position in the new administration. Not one.

Does this mean the honeymoon is over already? Or maybe Obama just figured out what's wrong with calling yourself a progressive.

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  1. Before Warren gets here.

    ?Meet the new boss
    Same as the old boss?

    CHANGE!?

  2. “Actual dyed-in-the-wool progressive”‘s would scare the public into opposing the progressive policies Obama plans to enact.They don’t hide what they are trying to do and tend to overreach.

  3. “Not a single, solitary, actual dyed-in-the-wool progressive has, as far as I can tell, even been mentioned for a position in the new administration. Not one.”
    Hey, this guy managed to make me dislike Obama a little less. Who knows, maybe by the time he leaves office, he’ll have reached Clinton levels (indifference).

  4. Maybe Obama isn’t a Progressive but a really sharp opportunist? Maybe he used the fact that he was half black (all right thinking black people are progressives aren’t they?) and good at muttering meaningless bullshit to let the progressives think he was one of them and will now do whatever he thinks is going to keep him in office. There was a story running around the internet before the election about how he got elected to editor of the Harvard Law review. Apparently, the progressive thought he was one of them and the few conservatives figured he was the least crazy of the inevitable liberal options available. Sure enough, as editor, he wasn’t a nut and the progressives all felt betrayed. Maybe one of the things Obama learned at Harvard was that progressives are a cheap date.

  5. Maybe one of the things Obama learned at Harvard was that progressives are a cheap date

    They may be cheap dates, but they expect you to call them the next day. So clingy.

  6. progressives are a cheap date

    Pretty soon progessives will have their own tiny barely read magazine and irrellevant political party…

  7. Come on, give Joebama a chance!

  8. LOL, the more things change, the more they stay the same!

    http://www.privacy.de.tc

  9. I’m torn between believing that Obama duped all those lefties into voting for him, and SIV’s deep cynicism.

  10. As High Priest of the Obama, I excommunicate Christopher Hayes! He shall forevermore be numbered among the conservatives and reactionaries, for questioning the Progressive Divinity of the Obama!

  11. “Pretty soon progessives will have their own tiny barely read magazine and irrellevant political party…”
    And maybe they can be simultaneously considered irrelevant and the cause of all the trouble in the world.

  12. McCain would have been worse?

  13. What do you expect from a mushy centrist?

    So much for the “most liberal candidate ever to seek the presidency,” and “the most liberal person in the Senate.”

    Seriously, the rankings that listed Obama as “most liberal” listed Joe Biden as #3, and still, people believed what they wanted to believe.

    Ohnoes, teh socialist!

  14. “I’m torn between believing that Obama duped all those lefties into voting for him, and SIV’s deep cynicism.”

    That is a dangerous game RC. The Republicans did the same thing in 2000 and Bill Clinton did that after the 1994 mid terms. You can’t go ahead and do the real policies you want because the public will reject everything. Better to be incrimental right? Well you do that and before you know it you are a Demcorat who just ended welfare as we know it or a Republican who just signed the proscription drug benefit. I think Obama is an opportunist with dellusions of grandeur. He thinks he is going to incrimental his way to progressive utopia but his survival instincts and reality will keep that from happening.

  15. Uh, Bush didn’t name any actual dyed-in-the-wool evangelical fundies to his administration either (Ashcroft doesn’t really count), but it doesn’t mean they didn’t have his ear. I know it seems like a radical idea, but before we do end-zone dances over a lack of progressives and progressive policies, maybe we should wait and see what happens when he’s actually president.

    Oh and John, are you going to take back your pre-election freak outs about Obama being a radical too?

  16. Well you do that and before you know it you are a Demcorat who just ended welfare as we know it or a Republican who just signed the proscription drug benefit.

    Both candidates explicitly promised to do those things during theie election campaigns.

  17. “but before we do end-zone dances over a lack of progressives and progressive policies, maybe we should wait and see what happens when he’s actually president.”

    Mo’s right. Obama could still suck ass.

  18. I thought Obama was all about Change. W was the most Progressive president we’ve had since FDR.

    I for one could do with some fiscal responsibility from the oval office, but we ainna gonna see any of that either.

  19. maybe we should wait and see what happens when he’s actually president.

    Or when he’s actually named his cabinet?

  20. The water in this little pot is all warm and comfy.It isn’t cold like in the big pond.

  21. “Both candidates explicitly promised to do those things during theie election campaigns.”
    Clinton in ’92? I’m honestly curious. I wasn’t paying that much attention at the time.

  22. Having performed my penance, I can now resume my duties as High Priest of the Obama.

  23. Mo,

    Bush didn’t name any actual dyed-in-the-wool evangelical fundies to his administration either (Ashcroft doesn’t really count), but it doesn’t mean they didn’t have his ear.

    You couldnt be more wrong. 1 – Ashcroft counts, but thats a minor point. 2 – they didnt really have his ear, things would have been much* better if they had instead of the neo-cons.

    *okay, slightly

  24. Clinton vetoed welfare reform two or three times before signing it in 1996, the end of his first term. In Joe world he campaigned on it and tried to get it done over the objections of Congress. In reality, it was forced down his throat by reality and his desire to stay in office.

    Maybe Obama really is a nut. If he is, it will show it soon enough and get his ass handed to him. If he is not, Progressives will continue to whine about how betreyed they feel. The next two years are their big chance. If Progressives can’t get anything done beyond “stimulus bills” and give aways to connected big business, they need to stop laughing at Libertarians for being an irrelevent fringe group.

  25. “things would have been much* better if they had instead of the neo-cons.”
    At least forced re-education for teh gaiz would be less expensive than the war in Iraq. But then again, how do we know the evangelical fundies wouldn’t want a crusade to bring the Good News to the benighted heathens of the Middle East?

  26. “If Progressives can’t get anything done beyond ‘stimulus bills’ and give aways to connected big business, they need to stop laughing at Libertarians for being an irrelevent fringe group.”
    Perhaps a libertarian could write a book explaining that while Progressives might say they’re against the government fleecing the poor to support (some of) the rich, bailouts are really the central part of Progressivism.

  27. “give aways to connected big business”
    Actually, in the case of the auto industry it seems to be motivated more by connections to unions than business.

  28. I, for one, still believe that Obama will rename the Department of Defense the “Department of Peace & Rainbows” within a month of ascending to office.

  29. 2 – they didnt really have his ear, things would have been much* better if they had instead of the neo-cons.

    They did up until 9-11. Remember his awful faith based-initiatives? Plus, the Shaivo bullshit. I’m guessing if 9-11 never happened, you would have gotten your preference.

    Remember, in 2000, McCain was the neo-con’s guy; Bush wanted a humble foreign policy.

  30. He can’t be a lefty. He is black, so even centrist moves will appear more radical.

    I said before the election this would happen and it seems to be panning out that way.

  31. Abdul,
    The High Priest of the Obama demands that you submit any prophecies to The Committee for the Correctness of Holy Doctine and Prophecies.

  32. “Plus, the Shaivo bullshit.”
    I’m pretty sure that was post-9/11.

  33. What Mo? Faith based initiatives? You mean the ones Obama plans to expand?

    “In a July 2008 speech, Obama announced a plan to establish a Council for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. It would expand upon President Bush’s faith-based initiative, primarily by allocating $500 million per year for summer learning camps that would aim to narrow the achievement gap between poor and wealthy students. Under Obama’s plan, groups receiving federal funding would not be allowed to take religion into account in hiring.”

    http://pewforum.org/religion08/compare.php?Issue=Faith__Based_Initiatives

    Maybe you missed it, but the guy attended church every Sunday for 20 years and says marriage is a God given bond between a man and woman. But I guess you like religion and faith as long as one of your guys is practicing it right?

  34. Mo,

    Bush had the cabinet of neo-cons from day 1. We were going to have a war with Iraq during Bush’s term. 9-11 may have even delayed it. 🙂

  35. Mo,

    The faith based initiatives and Schiavo and etc were bones to the fundamentalists. He had to keep them happy for reelection, but he didnt listen to them. Notice that the few connected to the administration left at the first chance they got.

  36. Mo,

    Clinton and Gore made a great case to go to war with Iraq in 1998.

  37. It wasnt just the fundamentalists he didnt listen to – ditto Paul O’Neil.

  38. Perhaps we could have neo-theo-cons. Who would say, rather than claiming we were attacked because the Middle East isn’t democratic (bullshit reasoning), they would claim it was because the Middle East isn’t Christian (also bullshit reasoning, but not quite as bullshit as the neo-con).

  39. John,
    Are we going to get started on the Red Team vs. Blue Team interventionist wars again?

  40. “John,
    Are we going to get started on the Red Team vs. Blue Team interventionist wars again?”

    No it is just when people like Mo claim the Dems as the party of peace with a straight face, someone has to call bullshit on it.

  41. When did Mo claim (on this thread) that the Democrats are the party of peace?

  42. You really think Obama is died-in-the-wool evangelical, John? I don’t think so. I think he’s like Reagan–he pays lip service to it for political reasons. It certainly looks that way from how quickly he dropped Wright and Trinity United. It was politically useful to him in southside Chicago, but not on the national stage. By 2016 he will be an Episcopalian attending some white-bread WASP Church at this rate.

  43. BTW, I don’t know who looks more stupid. The right wingers who screamed Obama was a SecretRadicalMarxists, or the liberals who thought he was the next FDR.

  44. I’ve got a theory on the heavy Isreal influence in the new cabinet. I think Obama didn’t really like his Indonesian experience. He may have even developed a distate for the overbearing Moslim teachings. Then at Columbia and Harvard, all the Jews love him, civil rights advocates and all. Then they elect him to be editor of the Law Review, and he’s set for life. Obama isn’t a muslim, he’s a muslim hater.

  45. “Obama isn’t a muslim, he’s a muslim hater.”

    You know what? I’m going to enjoy watching the Saudis have to kiss the ass of someone they probably consider an apostate.

  46. “You really think Obama is died-in-the-wool evangelical, John? I don’t think so. I think he’s like Reagan–he pays lip service to it for political reasons.”

    I don’t know. Never met him. But he does attend church and has made it clear that he intends to expand faith based inititives. If, as Mo says, Bush was bowing to the fundie nuts for having faith based initiatives, then why isn’t Obama? This bullshit of “he is just lying about that” whenever some otherwise objectionable position of Obama’s is pointed out is getting pretty old. Either judge him by what he says or does, or admit he is a liar who can’t be trusted on anything good or bad. Don’t just pick and chose what you think (hope) he is lying about.

  47. The right wingers who screamed Obama was a SecretRadicalMarxists, or the liberals who thought he was the next FDR.

    So the right wingers and the liberals thought the same thing?

  48. economist,

    The phrase “end welfare as we know it” was coined by the Clinton campaign in 1992. It was a big applause line he used in his stump speeches.

    Clinton vetoed welfare reform two or three times before signing it in 1996, the end of his first term. The White House and Congress went back and forth over details of the bills, many of which were poison pills the Republicans put in so it would be vetoed and they’d still have the issue, but they both agreed on the general shape of things.

    In Joe world he campaigned on it and tried to get it done over the objections of Congress. In Joe World, you can type “end welfare as we know it” into the Google, get several hundred thousand hits demonstrating that I’m right, and make John look like the same delusional ignoramus we’ve come to expect.

  49. No it is just when people like Mo claim the Dems as the party of peace with a straight face, someone has to call bullshit on it.

    Dude, WTF? I’ve never claimed that. Unless you interpret my “McCain was the neocon’s guy during the primary*” comment as saying that. You’re arguing with the Mo in your head.

    robc,
    I know that Schaivo was after 9-11. It was unfortunately placed in the sentence by me. I will also note that the only time he ever used his veto pen when Republicans ran Congress was for the stem cell research bill.

    My guess will be that Obama won’t turn the country into a progressive’s paradise, but there’s a good chance his policies will tilt that way. Of course, we’ll have to wait and see on that.

    * Which is true

  50. Maybe you missed it, but the guy attended church every Sunday for 20 years

    Well, that’s what he said when it was in his interest to say so. But, of course, we all know he was mysteriously absent on those occasions (and apparently only those occasions) when Rev. Wright went off his meds.

    You really think Obama is died-in-the-wool evangelical, John? I don’t think so. I think he’s like Reagan–he pays lip service to it for political reasons.

    Well, that’s alright then. As long as he’s only lying to us, and doesn’t really believe a word of what he says, that’s Change I Can Believe In!

  51. I am optimistic. I am happy with these picks. I am sure that aside from relatively minor changes in taxation, my life will be wholly unchanged from 2000-2008. I am happy that the young liberals who populate my area will no longer have a Bush to beat on. I am still optimistic.


  52. Well, that’s alright then. As long as he’s only lying to us, and doesn’t really believe a word of what he says, that’s Change I Can Believe In!”

    It’s called “being a politician”. I’d rather have a cynical opportunist like Clinton than a true believer like George W. Bush. At least then when the stupid shit they do becomes unpopular, they cut it the fuck out.

  53. Under Obama’s plan, groups receiving federal funding would not be allowed to take religion into account in hiring.

    Elminating the anti-discriminations requirements groups need to agree to in order to receive federal funds was the central plank of Bush’s faith-based initiatives platform. The government partners with faith-based groups all the time, and has for decades – with those anti-discrimination requirements in place. Saying that Obama will adhere to them eviscerates the sole novel element of Bush’s initiative.

  54. From the NYT:

    “All three advisers – whom Mr. Obama will officially name on Monday and Tuesday – have been followers of the economic formula that came to be called Rubinomics: balanced budgets, free trade and financial deregulation, a combination that was credited with fueling the prosperity of the 1990s.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/24/us/politics/24rubin.html?hp

    NEW NEW DEAL! Not.

  55. John,
    There’s a difference between creating a program whole cloth and changing its funding level. That’s why Reagan increasing Social Security funding is completely different from FDR creating the SSA. Bush created the Office of Faith-Based Initiatives.

  56. BDB | November 24, 2008, 11:19am | #

    BTW, I don’t know who looks more stupid. The right wingers who screamed Obama was a SecretRadicalMarxists, or the liberals who thought he was the next FDR.

    Every one of the “centrist” cabinet picks to date supports the Employee Free Choice Act, a government guarantee of health care coverage, a massive, infrastructure-based stimulus package, an increase in the minimum wage, and the repeal of Bush’s tax cuts.

  57. James Ard | November 24, 2008, 11:21am | #

    I’ve got a theory on the heavy Isreal influence in the new cabinet.

    Israel is Rahm Emmanuel’s middle name.

    No, literally. His name is Rahm I. Emmanuel.

  58. R C Dean | November 24, 2008, 11:30am | #

    Maybe you missed it, but the guy attended church every Sunday for 20 years

    Well, that’s what he said when it was in his interest to say so.

    Link?

    I don’t recall him saying that. I recall him saying he was a Christian and belonged to a church.

  59. BDB,

    Even Bob Rubin himself has spent the last several years writing about things like income inequality and the recanting some of the more extreme versions of the free trade and deregulation gospels. Chastened Rubinites sound just fine to me – and those are the only kind of Rubinites out there these days.

    Geitner, for one, was talking about the need to regulate mortgage derivatives years ago.

  60. The NYT article says the Bush tax cuts aren’t going to be repealed anytime soon. They won’t raise taxes during a recession.

  61. How many protectionists are in his cabinet? Zero. Don’t look for any NAFTA “re-negotiation”, especially since his political survival no longer depends on Ohio and Michigan.

  62. I, for one, welcome my new, er, old new Clinton Overlords. I much prefer greedy crooks to ideologues. They won’t do near the damage a Daily KOS regular would.

  63. “Chastened Rubinites sound just fine to me”

    May I ask why you didn’t want to nominate Hillary, then? Seriously. Foreign policy? Ok, she ended up in charge of foreign policy any way. Was it all a Seinfeld Primary about nothing?

  64. BDB,

    “Anytime soon” means “before 2010,” or in other words. In other words, they’re not going to be made permanent, they’re going to be allowed to expire.

    Fine by my. The order of the day is a stimulus package. It was FDR’s efforts return to fiscal discipline – higher taxes, lower spending, and attempts to balance the budget – in 1937/38 that derailed the ongoing recovery.

  65. So, I guess you’re right – he’s not going to be FDR.

  66. I’m trying to figure out how an Obama administration is going to be different from a third Clinton term, and aside from lack of tawdry sex scandals I’m honestly drawing a blank.

  67. BDB,

    The Hillary pick is the only one that gives me even the slightest pause, and even that is going to come down to whether she’s on board with his foreign policy program or tries to push her own.

    At least in the short term, the two of them are pretty much in synch anyway – leave Iraq, pay more attention to Afghanistan/Pakistan, push the Israeli peace process.

    But beyond foreign policy, the reason I supported Obama over her was that I thought he had a better chance of winning.

  68. “It was FDR’s efforts return to fiscal discipline – higher taxes, lower spending, and attempts to balance the budget – in 1937/38 that derailed the ongoing recovery.”

    In bizzaro world maybe. His lunatic economic policies that tried to set minimum prices and control virtually evey aspect of economic life down to what chicken you could buy but at the same time changed out of desparation so much that they were utterly unpredictable had a little bit to do with it as well. FDR was like a medeval doctor working on the economy with leeches.

    BTW Joe. Ilove card check to. Clearly greater union membership is the ticket to prosperity. Unionized industries like the Big 3 are so much more competetive than non-union ones.

  69. Card check will be Obama’s “gays in the military”-type debacle.

  70. BDB | November 24, 2008, 11:53am | #

    I’m trying to figure out how an Obama administration is going to be different from a third Clinton term

    A third Clinton term, particularly one with a friendly Congress, would have looked quite different from the last six years of his presidency. He was already moving the left on trade, he’d been forced to drop his entire environmental program, and he was only pushing small-bore stuff.

    Between the Iraq War and the financial sector going splat, and the elimination of the economic gains for the bottom half of the country over the past decade or so, a lot of the areas in which the triangulating Clintonites were to the right of the party as a whole have proven the Reichs right, and the Clintonites now sound a lot more like them than the did is, say, 1998.

  71. Here, John, a link from “bizarro world,” also known as the figures for Americand GDP growth during FDR’s presidency.

    http://yglesias.thinkprogress.org/archives/2008/11/depression_chart.php

    You may mumble something about correlation and causation, and try to change the subject again.

  72. BDB | November 24, 2008, 11:59am | #

    Card check will be Obama’s “gays in the military”-type debacle.

    Card check has majority support in both houses of Congresses and popular with the public – not quite the same thing as Gays in the Military circa 1992.

  73. BDB,

    I would like to think people value secret ballots and most of the 91% of the people in this country who do not belong to unions have much use for them. Especially, after watching their tax money go to prop up the UAW, I can’t believe many people will be too wild about losing their ability to vote in secret over a union. Further, it is so pathetic as to be almost sad that anyone could come to power selling “hope and Change” and “Yes we can!!” and the first thing they offer is unionism. Are kidding me? What is next, a campaign based on free soil and ending the gold standard?

  74. Joe,

    You are without a doubt the most historically ignorant person I have ever met. Agrueing wiht you about history is pointless. You just drag me down to your level and beat me with experience. You knowledge consists of once flipping through a Howard Zinn book. Go read some scholarship on the Depression and come back and talk to me. I read all of it in college and don’t feel like explaining it to you and you wouldn’t understand it even if I did. I will argue with you about politics, but not economics or history. You aren’t worth the effort.

  75. John,

    Am I more or lest historically ignorant than when you wrote that the 1987 stock market crash caused a recession, and that the American economy has gone through several recessions induced by financial-sector collapses since the end of the depression?

    It’s cute how, even after the past eight years, you continue to “know” all sorts of things you don’t actually know?

  76. That was an amusing little outburst after being proven completely fucking wrong, though, John.

    Joe, you idiot, the recovery didn’t stall out when Roosevelt raised taxes and cut back on spending in 1937! It…uh…hm…uh oh.

    GOD DAMN IT JOE YOU ARE SO IGNORANT, I’D EXPLAIN HOW IGNORANT YOU ARE BUY YOU AREN’T WORTH IT! YOU AREN’T WORTH IT!!!

    Lawlz.

  77. Well, that’s what he said when it was in his interest to say so.

    Link?

    This is rich, coming from “do-your-own-damn-research joe.”

    I don’t recall him saying that. I recall him saying he was a Christian and belonged to a church.

    Try this:

    The comments from Obama about his church attendance appeared in the transcript of an interview posted Tuesday on the religious news Web site Beliefnet.com. The interview was conducted on March 27, 2004 by Chicago Sun-Times religion writer Cathleen Falsani for a story on Obama’s faith, but the interview was not released in its entirety until now.

    “One of the churches that I became involved in was Trinity United Church of Christ,” Obama said in the interview. “And the pastor there, Jeremiah Wright, became a good friend. So I joined that church and committed myself to Christ in that church.”

    Obama began attending the church in 1988 and formally joined Trinity in 1992. Falsani asked, “Do you still attend Trinity?”

    Obama answered, “Yep. Every week. 11 o’clock service. Ever been there? Good service.

    Linky-loo.

    Mad props to the Sun-Times for sitting on an interview until after the election that directly contradicts what Barack Obama told us about his attendance at Rev. Wright’s controversial sermons.

  78. This is rich, coming from “do-your-own-damn-research joe.”

    I’m glad you enjoyed it.

    Anyway, you found one line in one interview? Congratulations.

  79. When we add together all the uhs of Obama’s 4 years, I bet it lasts better than two weeks.

  80. Oh, an interview that wasn’t published.

    Sort of an odd rebuttal to the statement I don’t recall him saying that. I recall him saying he was a Christian and belonged to a church.

  81. “James Ard | November 24, 2008, 12:28pm | #
    When we add together all the uhs of Obama’s 4 years, I bet it lasts better than two weeks.”

    How about all the times McCain would have said “my friends”? I’m not sure which is more annoying.

  82. Even with the “uhs,” coherent sentences, correct diction, and the absence of made-up words will still be a pleasent change.

  83. I think if McCain got elected, he’d drop the My Friends and revert to the mean old kurmudgen he really is.

  84. “The Hillary pick is the only one that gives me even the slightest pause, and even that is going to come down to whether she’s on board with his foreign policy program or tries to push her own.”

    Elevating Bolton and Gonzales after they’d done so much harm seemed pretty compelling evidence of President Bush’s incompetence, way back when.

    I have to say that even apart from whether Senator Clinton’s on board with Obama’s foreign policy, I’m not sure I understand why you’d put such an opportunist in such a high profile position, just from a political/strategic standpoint.

    Can you imagine Ms. Clinton taking one for the team? Can you imagine here doing the politically unpopular thing for the good of the United States? How much upside is there having Clinton on your team relative to the potential downside should she bail out on you?

    I’m not saying it’s enough to make me think he’s incompetent, but it does make me wonder about his judgement.

  85. I will welcome not having to hear “new-ku-lahr”

  86. Oh, an interview that wasn’t published.

    The interview was, in fact, published. I know this because it exists in published form on my screen.

  87. joe,

    All words are made up. The more creative of us dont limit ourselves to current vocabulary.

  88. Ken Schultz,

    I’m not sure I understand why you’d put such an opportunist in such a high profile position, just from a political/strategic standpoint.

    Even assuming the worst about her, she can’t very well lead an effort to undermine Obama without sinking herself. That “opportunit’s” self-interest is now tied to the success of his administration, in a way that it would not have been if she was in the Senate.

    Can you imagine Ms. Clinton taking one for the team? Can you imagine here doing the politically unpopular thing for the good of the United States? How much upside is there having Clinton on your team relative to the potential downside should she bail out on you?

    Remember all the wailing – from the people who assured us that she “owned the Democratic Party” and was certainly going to win the nomination, now that I think about it – about how she wasn’t going to help him get elected, and would seek to undercut him during the election? She really came through for him in Florida and other states.

    I’ve got problems with the Clinton pick, but a lot of the criticism of her smacks of the zany Klinton Konspiracy stuff.

  89. robc,

    The interview was, in fact, published. Not during the campaign.

  90. The more creative of us dont limit ourselves to current vocabulary.

    Your cromulent attitude towards grammer embiggens us all.

  91. Speaking of W. and made-up words, check this out. Don’t think we’ll be hearing much from that author in the future.

  92. Actually, we get the best of both worlds. A president whose level of verbal dexterity doesn’t produce winces, combined with a Vice-President whose verbosity guarantees a steady stream of pratfalls.

    “Pull the string, and he talks for 45 minutes.”

  93. Biden’s “literally” approaches a “My friends”-esque level of annoyance.

  94. This is a “transition team”.
    I suspect he’s going for “safe” options – holdovers from the Clinton administration, until he figures out what he really wants to do.

    Cabinet posts often shift a couple of years into an administration. Or sooner.

    At least it means that he’s cautious and none too serious about his campaign promises.

  95. Don’t think we’ll be hearing much from that author in the future.

    Either that, or he’ll be co-owner of a joint venture with James K. “Dow 36,000” Glassman.

  96. I agree with Hazel, btw.

    The economic situation has made stablizing the economy, restoring confidence in the markets, and keeping the country afloat a higher priority than his affirmative agenda.

    Bush thought his presidency was going to deal mainly with domestic policy.

  97. I still stand by my prediction. That eventually the Democrats will be defending Obama on the fact that he’s enacting so little change. They will point to just how mainstream a candidate he is, and that will be proof that he’s not the radical some accused him of being.

  98. “Remember all the wailing – from the people who assured us that she “owned the Democratic Party” and was certainly going to win the nomination, now that I think about it – about how she wasn’t going to help him get elected, and would seek to undercut him during the election? She really came through for him in Florida and other states.”

    I don’t mean to sound like a Clinton conspiracy theorist, but I do wonder if there might have been some horsetrading.

    Give me your support, which I need for the win, and if I win, I’ll offer you…

    That sort of thing isn’t unheard of and it would explain a lot! …and if something explains a lot, as every conspiracy theorist knows, well then it must be true!

  99. Well, the primary was essentially a tie so I expected some Clinton people to be in the cabinet. But Hillary being in charge of the point where they disagreed much, and so MANY Clinton people I didn’t expect. I expected more Chicago, less Little Rock.

  100. If Sarah Palin becomes Secretary of the Interior or Secretary of Energy, then we will know Obama has taken “Team of Rivals” a little TOO seriously.

  101. Either that, or he’ll be co-owner of a joint venture with James K. “Dow 36,000” Glassman.

    2024. Between now and the end of 2024 the Dow will hit 36k. That, btw, is 8k with a 10% growth rate.

    Not only that, but I predict a 100k Dow too.

  102. Horsetrading?!? Why, no, of course not. That would be…uh…that would be…well, yeah, that’s probably it.

    Sec. of State is THE plumb assignment in the cabinet. It is the biggest prize a President can give. It’s almost certainly that, and not the belief that Hillary is uniquely qualified to run State instead of some other department, that explains this pick.

  103. That’s pretty good horsetrading. The top cabinet position, COS, Transition boss, Sec of Commerce, Economic advisors galore, while Obama could have won without her.

  104. Oh, I forgot VP COS, White House Council, and Homeland Sec.

  105. Ir’s more like horse head trading.

  106. I actually don’t see it as impossible that a tax hike could cause a decrease in economic activity. Actually, it seems quite likely.

  107. James Ard is now counting people who endorsed Obama over Clinton as Clintonites.

  108. Joe–

    That’s because he thinks Bill directed them to endorse Obama. He said that already about Bill Richardson–that Bill instructed him to endorse Obama when they watched the Superbowl together.

  109. You mean “his Hispanic cat’s paw?”

    Right, right, I forgot.

  110. Endorsement aside, Richardson is about as much of a Clintonite as a Clintonite can get. When the Clintons hunkered down during the Lewinsky affair, Richardson hunkered down with them, obfuscating the whole way.

  111. Did Teh Klintons control George W. Bush, too?

  112. Apparently, Richardson wasn’t much of a horsetrader. Getting neither VP nor Sec. of State for his endorsement. Let’s see how that Commerce spot helps his presidential aspirations. Not that I’d be surprised if he became VP or SOS before its over.

  113. Richardson is about as much of a Clintonite as a Clintonite can get

    Richardson was well to the left of even Obama on the Iraq War over the past five years, never mind Clinton.

    And yet, his appointment would represent a prostration to her? Odd.

    I supposed a Robert Reich appointment would also demonstrate a double-cross by Obama, as he once served in the Clinton cabinet, too.

    Honestly, though, I can respect Ard’s position on this. It’s based on a coherent, logical (albeit looney) theory, which could be falsified. As opposed to most of the “Obama supporters should be very disappointed” commentary lately, which has proven itself to be completely unfalsifiable. Don’t you know that appointing partisan lefties is a betrayel of his promise to change the tone in Washington? Don’t you know that appointing centrists demonstrates a betrayel of his promise to change Washington?

  114. OK, four years. Since early-mid 2004. He initially supported the invasion, but got off the wagon when the WMDs didn’t turn up.

    Which was part of Hillary’s plan all along, that minx.

  115. You don’t actually think W got there on his own, do you?

  116. The appointment of Melody Barnes is yet another example of Barack Obama betraying his supporters, those fools who thought he represented change.

    I will now go read National Review Online, as I have no plausible explanation of why they should be disappointed by this, but rest assured, disappointed they must be.

    So very, very disappointed. Melody Barnes is certainly not “change we can believe in,” and I’ll be right back to explain why, just as soon as someone explains it to me.

    /wingnut voice

  117. Joe, if you want to have fun reading about Klinton Konspiracies, there is no “better” place to go than Dick Morris.

    http://www.dickmorris.com/blog/2008/11/23/hillary-nomination-would-be-an-obama-nation/

  118. I should point out that as a “newbie”, Obama pretty much HAS to enlist Clintonites. They’re the people who have recently been in power and know what’s going on. He wouldn’t get very far without their cooperation.

  119. Right, Hazel.

    It’s not as if there have been three or four recent Democratic administrations, and he’s choosing a lot of people from one of them.

    Any Democrat with enought executive branch experience to qualify for a top job, who is still young enough to take it, will have gotten it between 1993 and 2001.

  120. “Sec. of State is THE plumb assignment in the cabinet. It is the biggest prize a President can give. It’s almost certainly that, and not the belief that Hillary is uniquely qualified to run State instead of some other department, that explains this pick.”

    Like I said, it was just speculation. Sometimes candidates have even been known to offer their former rivals the Vice Presidency.

    That having been said… No, I do not believe Hillary Clinton is uniquely qualified to run the State Department.

  121. Either that, or he’ll be co-owner of a joint venture with James K. “Dow 36,000” Glassman.

    Hey, at least those guys were intellectually honest to keep their book titles the same when it went to paperback. This guy is super wrong and intellectually dishonest.

  122. I was agreeing with you, Ken Shultz. That’s probably exactly what this was.

  123. As High Priest of the Obama I declare all debate on his appointments a dangerous deviation from the purpose of The Faith. Hail Obama!

  124. Are you enjoying yourself, “economist.”

    I’d hate to the think that all the effort you put in typing the same joke over and over accomplished nothing.

  125. economist misses his ACORN job. They never complained about repetition.

  126. He promises 2.5 million new jobs. That will cost about half a trillion.

    He is promising about 3 trillion or more in stimulus.

    And he will balance the budget? I don’t see how he can do that. Unless he is lying to us.

  127. The balanced budget is out the window.

  128. Ah, the sound of idiots realizing they’re no longer useful!

  129. “I’d hate to the think that all the effort you put in typing the same joke over and over accomplished nothing.”
    Copy/Paste works wonders.

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