Cautious Optimism?

 Crossposted at

What was the Conservative nightmare on the morning after Election ’08? It was that a green and radically leftist President Obama would be guided by the ultra left wing of the Democratic Party, lead by the likes of Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid. That they would do everything from make us a weak world power cow-towing to foreign bodies like the UN, to overtaxing us into a depression to pay for pie-in-the-sky social programs. Well, we are only a couple weeks into President-elect Obama’s transition, but this conservative has reason for some cautious optimism.

First there is the overall make-up of Obama’s cabinet to be. First take a look at the following excerpt from Mathew Rothschild’s editorial in The Progressive:

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.… heading Obama’s transition team on intelligence matters are two former deputies to George Tenet, of all people.

When people on the left are this upset, conservatives should be breathing a sign of relief. It seems as though Obama is surrounding himself with people whose stance on foreign affairs is much more hawkish than his own was on the campaign trail. While Obama repeatedly beat up first Mrs. Clinton, and later, Senator McCain on their approval of the Iraq war, he picked war supporter Joe Biden for VP and now looks to be lining his staff with other centrists on international affairs.

Millions of new voters and extreme leftist voted for Obama being lured to the polls by the siren song of change- real change we can believe in. Laura Meckler and Jonathan Weisman write in The Wall Street Journal:

President-elect Barack Obama campaigned on the slogan of "change." But his early appointees, including two top choices that emerged Wednesday, show that experience is one of his main criteria.
His choice for secretary of Health and Human Services, officials said, is former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, who has a long Washington résumé. Jacob Lew, one of President Bill Clinton's budget directors, is favored to direct the National Economic Council.
Sen. Hillary Clinton is one of several potential nominees being bandied about for the Obama administration cabinet.
The latest transition news highlighted the three personnel pools supplying Mr. Obama with his picks. Most prominent are Clinton administration veterans -- including, possibly, former first lady Hillary Clinton for secretary of state. Some high-profile appointments are also long-serving members and staff from Capitol Hill.

It seems Obama learned from President Clinton’s early mistakes in staffing a White House with neophytes. Ironically he has decided to line his staff with former Clintonites who presumable have already learned the hard way what will work in Washington and what won’t.

Perhaps most comforting to conservatives is the choice of Rahm Emanuel and Tom Daschle. While at first blush these individuals seem to be incredibly partisan Democrats, and they are. But what is important is that they are also tough enough to stand up to Pelosi and Reid. They have done so in the past and certainly will again. The Republican fear of a radically leftist agenda would appear to be off the table at least for the start of the Obama administration.

Not too worry, I am sure there will be plenty to complain about and fight against in the coming months, but for right now, I am cautiously optimistic.


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Change,change, change?

This is shaping up to be a retread of the Clinton years. Its not great, but at least we know what we're getting.

But. lets not underestimate how hard the far left will push, and realize that Obama owes many favors.

i'd rather have him owe the left (not the far left, they've no

power, and are being run by more centrists anyhow) than owe businesses. At least oweing the left, he's likely to do things for people, and not against America's interests.

Obama isn't retreading the Clinton years -- and definitively not the Bush years. Daschle in particular portends a partnership between the executive and legislative that wasn't really present in the beginning Clinton years. More people, more ideas, this is starting to look good.

Reid and Pelosi haven't done jack shit for the progressive agenda, other than Pelosi made sure that politicians work five day weeks.