Progressives leftists are disappointed--some bitterly--that Obama seems to be establishing the Clinton third term with his Cabinet and staff picks. The Nation’s Chris Hayes, for example:
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. Remember this is the movement that was right about Iraq, right about wage stagnation and inequality, right about financial deregulation, right about global warming and right about health care. And I don’t just mean in that in a sectarian way. I mean to say that the emerging establishment consensus on all of these issues came from the left. There’s tons of things the left is right about that aren’t even close to mainstream (taking a hatchet to the national security state and ending the prison industrial complex to name just two), but hopefully we’re moving there.
And yet, no one who comes from the part of American political and intellectual life that has given birth to all of these ideas is anywhere to be found within miles of the Obama cabinet thus far. WTF?
Ideologues are always disappointed to see how government actually works. (They should see sausage made sometime--Ed. Yeah, I know; look how they freaked when Our Sarah stood near a turkey killing machine last week.) Anyway, this got me to reminiscing about the Reagan transition, where similar complaints were heard from Movement Conservatives. From chapter 1 of my next Reagan book:
Human Events newspaper—one of Reagan’s favorite periodicals— wrote that “less than three weeks after the election, the euphoria in the conservative community is already dissipating somewhat. . . [C]onservatives have a right to feel somewhat distraught.” Direct mail wizard Richard Viguerie complained to the Washington Post that “the names we’re seeing now do make us nervous. It looks like it might be old home week for the Nixon-Ford administration.” Columnist Kevin Phillips echoed Viguerie: “The President-elect seems to be leaning to a cabinet full of the same proven don’t-rock-the-vote experts who bored the nation to death during the Gerald Ford Administration.” James Reston noted in the New York Times: “It is a paradox that those who were most determined to elect Mr. Reagan now seem more worried about what he will do as President than those who opposed him.”
Oh. and happy Thanksgiving everybody. I am, as usual, going to rotisserie a headless 18 lb turkey on my Weber Performer grill.