The possible strategy behind the picks.
Finally, we have unity between conservatives and progressives. Unfortunately it is a unity based either in stupidity or deceitfulness.
Both sides are tripping all over themselves to criticize Obama's picks for his cabinet and advisers. Progressives in particular seem to be livid that moderates figure so prominently and conservatives, who want change less than they want a salt filled straw in the eye, are falling all over themselves pointing out that Obama's picks seem to be at odds with his campaign mantra of "change". One side is being incredibly shortsighted and the other is being blatantly disingenuous. Both are being patently ridiculous.
Barack Obama will face challenges upon taking the oath like no president in recent times has seen and possibly, no president ever. I certainly have no contact with or special insight to the Obama mindset but, it is obvious what he is doing. Given the current economic crisis and the wars that have so far been idiotically prosecuted, team Obama will have to hit the ground running. Among the things he wants to avoid are contentious and drawn out confirmation hearings. He also simply does not have the time to wait for an entire crew of fresh minded Washington outsiders to learn the whos, whys, and hows of the Washington system. It is almost an impossibility that many of today's picks will not start to need to spend more time with their families in two years or whenever things start to get better. I fully expect them to be replaced with those who would be considered outsiders today. They will be working for current picks and/or will have been apprised of their position on the list and will have been given study materials plus, they will not all start at once. It would be irresponsible, even if it were possible, to institute al the desired change at once. It must be instituted over time.
However, all of that is pretty much secondary. There is an old saying that "the fish stinks from the head". The Clinton appointees will not do as they did under Bill Clinton. They will have the knowledge and experience but they will have a leader with a a different agenda. What seems to be forgotten is that Bush did not hire stupid people to work for him. He hired smart people(of perhaps questionable moral character) and he led them to do stupid things. The fish stinks from the head. Anyone who doubts that Barack Obama could take the exact same crew who helped bush screw the nation and achieve significantly different and positive results is simply not paying attention.
So what say we give Obama a chance to lead. What say we withhold judgment until we have some evidence. It may be that he can't fix this but then, it may be that no one or group can fix this. For sure his chances will not be improved by building his team entirely out of rookies.
cross posted at www.meanderthal.typepad.com