Monday, December 8, 2008

What's wrong with moderation?


An AP story today says President-elect Barack Obama is running into some resistance as he fills out his Cabinet and other upper-level posts. And the griping is coming from liberals who fear that Obama, flayed by McCain-Palin as the most liberal member of Congress, isn't staying far enough to the left. Because of the state of the economy, Obama has backed away from his promise to immediately repeal tax cuts that benefited the wealthy. He's also taking more of a wait-and-see approach about pulling troops from Iraq. And he hasn't named left-wingers to Cabinet posts. Cue the discontent. "He has confirmed what our suspicions were by surrounding himself with a centrist to right Cabinet. But we do hope that before it's all over, we can get at least one authentic progressive appointment," whined Tim Carpenter, national director of the Progressive Democrats of America. Added OpenLeft blogger Chris Bowers, "Isn't there ever a point when we can get an actual Democratic administration?" Somebody get those fellows some tissues. What would be wrong, really, in having a president who listens to all sides - liberal, moderate and conservative - before charting a course of action? What would be wrong with a president who governs from the middle and actually embraces bipartisanship, instead of spouting hollow words like the soon-to-be-departed resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.? Would it be wrong to have a pragmatic, thoughtful person in the nation's highest office after eight years of government by right-wing ideologues who bankrupted our country literally, ethically and morally, all the while treating intelligent discourse and intellectual curiosity like a bad case of the clap? Why not give the guy a chance and see what he can accomplish over the next couple of years? He certainly has enough on his plate without having to listen to a bunch of caterwauling uberliberals.

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6 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Obama is looking like someone that wants to run the country properly with the best interests of the nation at heart. Scares me to say it, but he is acting like a true moderate which is a generally good thing. If he governed from the left, we would have had the left version of Bush or possibly even worse. Thank goodness it is looking differently.

December 8, 2008 at 12:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sigh...There are some folks who are more interested in ideological purity than actually moving the ball down the field.

I think the people who grumble about Obama appointing people who learned the ropes during the Clinton years are being silly. That was our last Democratic administration. After the last 8 years, I think voters are hungering for competence and problem-solving over ideology.

--Brad Hundt

December 8, 2008 at 1:19 PM  
Blogger PRIguy said...

I thought he was going to hit the ground running, blah blah blah.

There's nothing wrong with moderation, and I agree with Brant's comments. However, he's not even sworn in yet and he's already flip-flopping.

December 8, 2008 at 1:45 PM  
Blogger Roger said...

A couple of thoughts:
First, if I was a strong left-wing supporter during the campaign (which I am not), I would be livid. What was said in the campaign is hardly what has played out in the past month. The moveon.org folks must be writhing on the floor. All the cries about "change" are hardly being heard any longer. Despite those cries, now so many supporters seem to be agreeable to "the same as before."

Second, despite not being a supporter during the campaign, I give Mr. Obama kudos for his efforts so far. He seems to have recognized his lack of experience, which was a candidate issue, by picking those who have Washington experience. Personally, I'm not sure this is good, but it makes for a good transition, and hopefully will keep the road pretty level for the first year of his Administration. Perhaps this current set of appointments are coming aboard with a short-term objective, knowing that after the Administration is up and running, he will make significant changes to comply with his campaign promises. This set of picks will not do that.

Third, the new jargon of the news, airwaves, commentators, and, yes, even Brant, "pragmatic." It is now showing up everywhere. Any report about Mr. Obama's efforts would be incomplete unless "pragmatic" isn't worked into the piece somewhere.

December 8, 2008 at 2:07 PM  
Blogger Brant said...

"Pragmatic" is a good word and a good way to do the people's business. Unlike the last eight years, where the policy was, "Damn the facts, full speed ahead."

December 8, 2008 at 3:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Exactly what chance of being successful in getting his policies implemented do the liberals think Obama will have if he overstuffs the cabinet & other positions with hard core left wingers? That's just inviting a showdown with Republicans. I'm a liberal, but I love what he's done so far. If the hardcore liberals had paid attention to what Obama has been writing and saying for the last four years, they might have noticed that he touts non-partisan cooperation. You'd think that students of history would have sense enough to see that extremes seldom work well in government.

December 8, 2008 at 4:56 PM  

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