Republicans being duped
Republicans lavishing praise on Obama’s cabinet picks are being lulled into a dreamland trance. Just because Obama hasn’t appointed Bill Ayers as Defense Secretary and promised to create a new Department of Hate-Based Initiatives for Rev. Wright to head up does not mean the former Senator really is a centrist. But, he is succeeding in using his national security team to co-opt some Republicans by making them think he is.
Since when do Republicans think Hillary Clinton is center-of-left? At one point she was the most feared and reviled Democrat in the country, a card carrying Marxist-Socialist in pantsuit. Somehow, Obama has worked some magic to make even Republicans think she is strong on national defense (which, curiously, is defined largely by voting for the Iraq war – a position once reviled by the media and leftists as Bush-Cheney imperialism. Now it means you’re strong on security. Go figure.).
Obama selected Hillary because he wants her out of the way. Whether or not that will work out remains to be seen. But the appointment should not be taken as a move to the center. Even if Hillary is tougher on security than her new boss, her job is more diplomacy than defense anyway.
Gates and Jones certainly aren’t leftist firebrands, but their appointments shouldn’t be taken as Obama being tough on terror. Rather, he wants us to think he’s tough by surrounding himself with tough guys. Remember, one of Obama’s biggest weaknesses is perceived foreign policy naivete and lack of war-time chops. He’s banking on his cabinet distracting us from that fact.
I, for one, will not be distracted. Obama knows that he needs to pull soft McCain supporters (i.e., moderates, not conservatives) into his camp to get things done. Once he co-opts enough people through the appearance of centrism, he’ll be free to begin incrementally enacting his leftist agenda. Of course, the media will label it as a centrist agenda because centrism’s boundaries are constantly moving left.