03 December 2008

The Obama cabinet

If Barack Obama's cabinet picks are any indication of the type of president he intends to be, conservatives can -- at least until inauguration day -- breathe a little easier.

The Changemaker easily could be clamoring for a mandate (a la Dubya) based on his 52% figure (a single percentage point above President Bush's re-election haul in 2004) and swing the country hard to the left. His voting record in the Senate, among other things, gives rise to worry that this is still more than possible. Although Obama's virtually nonexistent record of working across the aisle in the U.S. Senate won't go away until he demonstrates the ability to forge a bipartisan consensus on anything of much substance, his Cabinet picks -- most of them, at least -- indicate to me that he does not intend to govern as an overt leftist. 

To be sure, the people a president surrounds himself with aren't necessarily dispositive of the type of chief executive he will become.

However, when reviewing Obama's cabinet picks, I'd ask conservatives to live in reality: Joe Lieberman is not Bernie Sanders. Ben Nelson is not Dick Durbin. Hillary Clinton is not Dennis Kucinich. And Bill Clinton certainly wasn't Jimmy Carter.

The idea (held by many on the right) that every Democrat hails from the far left of the political spectrum is simply not accurate. Democrats are not, as Rush Limbaugh posits, a group of wayward infidels who must be beaten back at every turn. There is often great diversity of viewpoints in the Democratic Party, much as there is great diversity within the GOP.

Instead of complaining that he is stacking his cabinet with Democratic retreads, I'd ask you to keep in mind two particular wings of the Democratic Party that often see spillover into the conservative camp -- first, the hawkish wing (formerly called "Scoop Jackson Democrats" and from whence Joe Lieberman came), which the moonbats on the left absolutely abhor; and the fiscally moderate wing of the party, which has grown in size thanks to President Clinton's focus on economic growth and responsible government. The Chairman subscribes to both of these wings -- that's why we tend to get along.

Let's allow Obama the chance to become an effective president, and applaud him for some -- but obviously, not all -- of the choices he's made thus far. 

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