From Barack Obama's appointments so far and those deemed to be on his "short list" for key positions in his administrations, the prospects for that administration are looking pretty grim. Nearly everyone the transition is talking about hiring is either a former Clintonite or a conservative Republican (and it isn't as if there's usually much difference between the two). If Obama's picks end up looking like his VP pick, as this early talk suggests, we'd have probably been better off with John McCain. Obama was not elected to give us Clinton Redux but that's the direction he seems to be steering.
Despite the insane reactionary ranting during the campaign, Obama isn't a fellow who has ever shown any evidence of harboring any particularly radical ideas. An Obama win in the campaign was only a small potential "victory" for America--at best, it may staunch the bleeding a bit. The last 8 years have seen a virtual one-party state in the U.S., with a quasi-dictator at its head who has gotten whatever he wants, without any checks. A right-wing thug was allowed to run riot. The response to that has to be equivalent. Not a riot but a full-bore, no mercy effort at erasing every vestige of this sort of dictatorial governance.
Obama is coming into an executive branch that has been absolutely devastated by the last 8 years of this sort of rule. If he and his next several successors vowed to entirely reverse all of it, the work wouldn't be done in the lifetime of anyone reading these words today. It certainly isn't going to be done if the first thing he wants to do is embrace the "can't we all just get along"-ism so beloved by the corporate press whenever Democrats are in power. That isn't what Obama was elected to do either. It's not the time to get along. It's the time to start flushing some toilets, before the accumulated backwash drowns us all. That's the only proper liberal response and the only proper American one as well.
Flushing their shit is inevitably going to infuriate the right but--and this is critically important--anything Obama does is going to infuriate them. Bill Clinton was a conservative, barely distinguishable in any meaningful way from a Republican yet became the target of the most virulent campaign of hatred and slander of perhaps any President in the history of the U.S.. The lesson here? The right doesn't have their party in the White House and that's always going to bring down their fury. Even if you go along with every policy they advocate (as Clinton virtually did), it will be the same story. So fuck them. Do what needs to be done. The shit has to go--flush it.
Even if one is as bereft of judgment as to disagree with everything I've just outlined, it should still be a point of agreement among all that Obama was elected to bring change.
Instead, we're getting "Rahm-bo", Podesta and all the rest, with talk of conservative Republicans being placed in top slots. Clinton redux. That isn't "change," no matter how one looks at it.
If he really chooses, as has been suggested, to maintain Robert Gates at the Department of Defense... well... to put it bluntly, if his instincts are that bad, he's too stupid to be President. We've already done stupid. That didn't go over so well