As I recently wrote, some Republicans are being fooled by Obama into thinking his cabinet picks point to centrism. Liberals are playing along by expressing dismay that no true “progressives” are getting any notable slots in the administration.
In today’s Washington Post, leftist David Corn questions whether the Obama cabinet “wasn’t quite the change we pictured” but ultimately echoes my thought that Obama is making a calculation:
In constructing his administration, he has decided not to create a (liberal) Washington counter-establishment. Instead, he’s fashioning a bipartisan, centrist-loaded version of the Washington establishment to carry out his policies, which do tilt to the left.
For some progressives, Obama’s opening moves may not feel like the change they anticipated. But there’s no rebellion yet at hand. Many are probably holding their breath and waiting to see whether Obama can hijack the establishment for progressive ends.
Indeed, waiting for him to “hijack the establishment” to push through his leftist agenda. Obama’s cabinet picks may be in part designed to trick some Republicans into thinking he won’t be so extremist after all. With them in hand, Obama will then be able to push left (incrementally). Corn says that much of Obama’s leftist agenda is the new centrism, which is exactly how I said the media would portray it. Make no mistake about it, Obama will push the country to the left in radical ways, but it will be packaged and sold as anything but radical.