By State Representative Chris Taylor
I’m at my third American Exchange Legislative Council (ALEC)...
When is Obama going to appoint someone who reflects the progressive base that brought him to the White House?
He won the crucial Iowa caucuses on the strength of his anti-Iraq War stance, and many progressive peace and justice activists worked hard for him against John McCain.
So why in the world is he choosing Hillary Clinton to be Secretary of State when she was one of the loudest hawks on Iraq and threatened to obliterate 75 million Iranians?
And it’s not just Hillary.
Obama’s OMB pick, Peter Orzag, is a Clintonite disciple of Robert Rubin.
Obama’s AG pick, Eric Holder, is a Clintonite who represented Chiquita Bananas.
And Larry Summers’s name is still being bandied about for Treasury, even though Summers, while Clinton’s Treasury Secretary, forced the deregulation of our financial markets and imposed disaster capitalism on Russia.
Worse still, heading Obama’s transition team on intelligence matters are two former deputies to George Tenet, of all people. (See Amy Goodman’s great story about this on Democracy Now!)
Look, there are a lot of talented progressives who could be in an Obama cabinet.
Joseph Stiglitz is a Nobel Prize-winner in economics and a critic of corporate globalization. He should be Treasury Secretary.
Senator Russ Feingold is a champion of civil liberties. He should be Attorney General.
Robert Greenstein is head of Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. He would make a much better OMB director.
Arlene Holt Baker, executive vice president of the AFL-CIO, would be a tremendous Secretary of Labor.
And if Obama really wanted change, if he really wanted to honor progressives who backed him early on and then did the grunt work against McCain, he’d nominate Dennis Kucinich as Secretary of State.
That sure would indicate a welcome departure from empire as usual.
But at this point, progressives are getting absolutely nothing from Obama.