Cross-posted from Progressive Independence
No, I’m not dead. College and upcoming finals have eaten away at my time, but after next week I’ll have a few weeks to get back into the swing of things. Now to business. It’s no secret that since winning the recent presidential election, the left has been in an uproar over president-elect Barack Obama’s right-wing administrative-cabinet picks. Complaints have been all over the blogosphere as well as mainstream news web sites such as Yahoo.
Obama’s creatures are pushing back, essentially telling people to shut up, drink the Kool-Aid, and line up behind the Obamassiah. From the second link:
Responding to rising discontent on the left to President-elect Barack Obama’s centrist cabinet picks and early policy decisions, deputy campaign manager Steve Hildebrand has told progressive critics to take a deep breath.
With a long list of tasks ahead of him, Obama needs liberals to stand by him as he deals with a faltering economy, home foreclosures, an auto bailout and two wars, Hildebrand wrote Sunday on Huffington Post. Even so, Hildebrand added, Obama was elected “to be the president of all the people – not just those on the left.”
‘This is not a time for the left wing of our Party to draw conclusions about the Cabinet and White House appointments that President-Elect Obama is making,” Hildebrand wrote. “Some believe the appointments generally aren’t progressive enough. Having worked with former Senator Obama for the last two years, I can tell you, that isn’t the way he thinks and it’s not likely the way he will lead. The problems I mentioned above and the many I didn’t, suggest that our president surround himself with the most qualified people to address these challenges.”
I’m inclined to tell fellow left-wingers to shut up and stop complaining as well, although for very different reasons. It was obvious to many independent left-wing voters that Democrat Obama would govern no differently if elected than his Republican counterpart, John McCain. More competently, perhaps, and with smarmier rhetoric, but such differences are in style, not actual policy substance. Too many liberals, fearful of another four to eight years of GOP domination, cast their ballots for the first politician with a “D” after his name that looked like a winner, either in spite of, or many cases, ignoring, the Democratic nominee’s actual record as a legislator.
Well, guess what ladies and gentlemen: you got the president and Congress you wanted. You who voted for Obama have no right to complain now that he’s doing the exact opposite of what you deceived yourselves into thinking he’d do. YOU voted for this. YOU are responsible for making it happen.
This is not to say that all is lost, or that because people voted for a right-wing Democrat he cannot be pressured into fulfilling the false hopes placed in him. Everybody makes mistakes, and mistakes can be corrected. The time for complaints is over. The time for action, for marching on Washington and demanding genuine change, for not going away until we get it, is now.