Progressives Could Lose a Small Battle to Win the Big War
Atrios, utilizing his trademark, uh, panache, offers a very well-reasoned response to the small but vocal segment of “the Left” who are angry about President-elect Barack Obama’s cabinet choices so far:
The Obama campaign didn’t exist to make me feel good, and the Obama presidency won’t either. I don’t especially like his people punching the dirty [flipping] hippies under the bed, but on the other hand if they manage to convince people that Obama is a sensible centrist who wants to do sensible centrist things like build SUPERTRAINS, get out of Iraq, not torture people or invade random countries, strengthen labor protections, reduce income inequality, improve education, provide health care for people, and reduce poverty, while those DAMNED DIRTY HIPPIES just won’t shut up about their magic ponies, it’s fine by me.
For years we’ve had Democrats railing against those crazy hippies as an excuse to not do all of those things. If Obama’s people are going to rail against the hippies and use it as an excuse to do them, fine with me. If.
Obviously, the media is making far more out of this Democratic divide than exists in the real world, but critics would be well-served to wait and see how Obama actually governs before freaking out about how he’s ignoring progressives. If it turns out that he totally sucks or flails completely and doesn’t deliver any of this stuff, which I’m kind of doubting will be the case, there will be four years to criticize him, with good reason — and then you can vote his sorry butt out of office in 2012.
But the post-partisanship that Obama campaigned on requires concessions from the left as well as the right, and if Obama’s strategy does prove successful for implementing even a few of the things on Atrios’ laundry list — especially considering the disastrous path the country appeared to be on for the past 8 years — it will be hard to argue that sacrificing a liberal Democratic cabinet for the greater good wasn’t worth it.