Monday, December 08, 2008

Trust But Verify

yahoo: President-elect Barack Obama (L) introduces retired General Eric K. Shinseki as nominee for Veterans Affairs secretary during a news conference in Chicago, December 7, 2008.
REUTERS/John Gress

Barack Obama was elected little more than a month ago. He won't take office for another month and a half. He has run one of the quickest and smoothest transitions ever, rolling out appointees and being essentially a shadow government (for the nonfunctioning Bush bunker White House) in waiting.

So what's the problem? Liberals don't like his cabinet choices. Where are the liberals? Rather than appointing the economists who predicted the meltdown of the mortgage and credit markets, Obama has appointed people who were part of the Wall Street posse that got us into this mess. Apparently sensitive to the criticism, Obama has his deputy Steve Hildebrand post on Huffington Post asking liberals to, essentially, STFU.

Me, I'm still rather sanguine about the whole thing. It's not like FDR appointed a bunch of raging liberals to his Cabinet, and from that group we got the New Deal. (FDR did appoint one raging liberal: Frances Perkins, the first woman ever to hold a Cabinet position, and the longest-serving-ever Secretary of Labor. Obama still needs a Frances Perkins type in his Cabinet.)

But, jeez, he hasn't even taken office yet. Cabinet appointments haven't all been made. He hasn't even announced his Secretary of Labor yet. I am willing to give Obama a little slack here. The people aren't the policies. And while I may not agree with all his appointments (Larry Summers, chauvinist pig, grrrrrr) I'm going to hold my fire for now. I'll wait until actual policy making is done. Patience, people, patience.

Speaking of Cabinet appointments, I was very happy to see that General Eric Shinseki - the guy who told Donald Rumsfeld that his Iraq plan was a crock and got forced out for his truth-telling -- has been named Secretary of Veterans Affairs.

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