Has Obama Betrayed the Left-wing?

The left is debating right now whether Barack Obama’s cabinet appointments imply a betrayal of left-wing principles. Chris Matthews discussed this topic on “Hardball” last night and concluded that Obama’s appointments are window-dressing. They are there to provide cover for Obama as he implements a left-wing agenda. I can’t say whether or not Matthews’s theory is correct, but we will find out soon enough. In the meantime, it will be interesting to watch this debate unfold. You know change is afoot when Hillary Clinton is considered to be your right-wing foil.

21 Responses to Has Obama Betrayed the Left-wing?

  1. Brian Krieger December 2, 2008 at 10:17 am #

    And in a similar manner, has Michelle Obama let down the team as well?

    Don’t know if it’s window dressing (though I do think it manifests his dizzying position (over time) on the war). I think it will be something to which he’ll point when enacting a spate of his other policies domestically. I think time might show how close he is to rep. on foreign policy but will demonstrate how far apart he is on the socialization of the US (through his domestic policies). Then again, I’m not a political guy. And I agree with Chris and his first guest. We’ll just have to see.

  2. Paul December 2, 2008 at 10:36 am #

    oh no…

    A LEFT WING AGENDA!!!!!!

    (cue scary music)

    How about letting the guy lead for a minute before starting the hand wringing and/or the conspiracy theories?

    Or does the whole thing about “God picks our leaders” only apply when we elect trained chimps?

  3. Darius Teichroew December 2, 2008 at 10:46 am #

    “God picks our leaders”

    Paul, don’t use that statement again until you understand what it means. If, God forbid, your wife were killed in an accident, would you (if you believe in the sovereignty of God) not still mourn her loss? Or would you honestly apply the logic of your above statement to that situation as well and say “Oh well, it was God’s will, time to move on.” Likewise, God has placed Obama in power, but that doesn’t mean people can’t mourn his ascendancy and loathe the choices he makes.

  4. Paul December 2, 2008 at 2:06 pm #

    Darius,

    be silent. I know what it means, and here’s how many on the right (especially the non-intellectuals that you love to cuddle with) always addressed those of us who are Christians with liberal worldviews:

    God picked Bush to be our leader! If you criticize Bush, you’re criticizing GOD’S pick to lead our country.

    Well, err, uhhh, shoe’s on the other foot, dude.

    If some moron in a Third Day t-shirt carrying a Zondervan “Study Bible for young male adult that doesn’t want to be seen carrying a Bible that actually looks like a Bible” can say it to me, then I can say it to you.

    Deal with it.

  5. Darius Teichroew December 2, 2008 at 2:39 pm #

    “God picked Bush to be our leader! If you criticize Bush, you’re criticizing GOD’S pick to lead our country.”

    I never heard that once, but true to your form, you love to throw out straw men. No one ever said don’t criticize Bush (though plenty of us would like it to be fair criticism, not just empty vitriol). What I detest is the lack of respect shown by your liberal brethren.

  6. Ferg Breen December 2, 2008 at 2:59 pm #

    haha, that comment was cracking Paul.

    “God picked Bush to be our leader! If you criticize Bush, you’re criticizing GOD’S pick to lead our country.”

    I heard that all the time.

  7. Nathan Mayfield December 2, 2008 at 3:03 pm #

    Getting back to the discussion point, don’t you think there is some irony in that Obama has picked a Clintonian cabinet (meaning guys that served under Clinton and/or guys that have been around forever). It does remind me of Bush picking a bunch of his daddy’s guys.

    It certainly is not what I expected and I think that is the point of the blog. Let me ask you Paul, since you are a liberal guy, is this what you anticipated from Obama? And do you think Obama picked Hillary to get her out of the Senate in order to avoid confrontation with her there?

    I actually think it was a good move to get Hillary out of his way, so to speak.

  8. Darius T December 2, 2008 at 3:15 pm #

    I think Obama picked Hillary to just get her out of the way in general (politically speaking). In 2012, if he bombs as a president, she would have been the obvious choice to run against him (however unlikely that scenario may be), so in some respect he’s protecting his job. However, I believe it’s primarily a way that he can reach out to the Dems and unify them as they move forward to forming a majority party that is more resistant to election changes. I’m also guessing that this was the prize he gave up to get her to shut up and support him during the election.

  9. Paul December 2, 2008 at 3:22 pm #

    “I never heard that once, but true to your form, you love to throw out straw men.”

    Well, I did. Quit telling me that I’m throwing out straw men when your side embarrasses itself with idiotic remarks. If some idiot is going to give me ammunition, I’m gonna use it. Sorry.

  10. Darius T December 2, 2008 at 3:31 pm #

    That’s where you consistently go wrong, Paul. You use one example and apply it to the whole. By your bizarre logic, Eric Rudolph speaks for the majority of Christians. I think it should be self-evident how bogus your logic is.

  11. Paul December 2, 2008 at 3:32 pm #

    Nathan,

    Let’s get one thing good and straight that none of my right-wing friends would listen to me about during election season:

    Obama’s not a LIBERAL, in the all caps, give granny a heart attack, push the straight white male into the corner way. He’s simply a liberal, in that he thinks that some policies that aren’t right wing ones might be the better policies for the country. That he might be one of the most liberal members of the senate doesn’t prove his liberalness as much as it proves just how conservative this country really is.

    So, am I shocked by his choices? No. Actually, I’d like to see him tweak the GOP a little more and nominate Christine Todd Whitman as EPA chief. She’d do a great job, and it paints him as the ultimate centrist: the “LIBERAL(!!!)” willing to put a REPUBLICAN(!!!) in charge of the EPA!

  12. Darius T December 2, 2008 at 3:44 pm #

    Notice that you didn’t say conservative in charge of the EPA…

  13. Nathan Mayfield December 2, 2008 at 3:59 pm #

    Paul,

    I don’t doubt that, but I was surprised that Gore and Kerry were cut out of cabinet posts when both of them seeminly were more in his corner from the beginning. I would think Gore has to be feeling left out.

    But it is a “good ole boys club” and Obama seems to be following the typical pathway.

  14. Darius T December 2, 2008 at 4:05 pm #

    Gore probably has something bigger waiting for him… maybe the UN ambassadorship???

  15. Paul December 2, 2008 at 4:09 pm #

    “but I was surprised that Gore and Kerry were cut out of cabinet posts when both of them seeminly were more in his corner from the beginning. I would think Gore has to be feeling left out.”

    Who actually LIKES Kerry? And Gore, for all of his attributes, has turned himself into a one trick pony. So, it’s EPA, Department of the Interior or nothing. And how does one go from Vice President and winner of the popular vote in the 2000 election to a mid-level cabinet position?

    “But it is a “good ole boys club” and Obama seems to be following the typical pathway.”

    Why are you shocked?

    To Obama’s credit, he does seem to be piecing together lots of uber-qualified people to head these posts, which I’d much rather have than change for the sake of change.

  16. Nathan Mayfield December 2, 2008 at 4:18 pm #

    “Why are you shocked? To Obama’s credit, he does seem to be piecing together lots of uber-qualified people to head these posts, which I’d much rather have than change for the sake of change.”

    On the one hand I am not shocked because most Presidents move directly to the center no matter what the rhetoric of the campaign was.

    On the other hand staying in the center allows the Congress to continue thinking that this is going to be politics as usual.

    Take the Republicans for example: They should have kicked McConnell out of leadership, but they won’t.

    Change can at least initiate debate and discussion. Obama, by picking the old guard no longer seems like the change agent he portrayed himself to be.

    I will withhold judgment until after he takes office and presents his first proposals, but it seems like politics as usual inside the Beltway.

  17. Paul December 3, 2008 at 1:06 pm #

    “haha, that comment was cracking Paul.

    “God picked Bush to be our leader! If you criticize Bush, you’re criticizing GOD’S pick to lead our country.”

    I heard that all the time.”

    I know! I’ve heard that more times than I can count. But yet I’m throwing up straw men.

    I’m just wondering how many times I needed to hear some variation of that theme before it stops becoming a straw man and it starts becoming true.

    An exact number would be helpful here Darius.

  18. Darius T December 3, 2008 at 1:31 pm #

    Perhaps you could link to just one article or column by a Christian who said this… I don’t trust the accuracy of your memory, since I have never once heard that and I am pretty tuned into the evangelical world as it interacts with politics.

    Hey Ferg, ever get that book?

  19. Paul December 3, 2008 at 2:00 pm #

    According to Darius, if it’s not on the internet, it didn’t happen.

    Which means that Christianity only became valid after Bible Gateway dot com went live.

    I like your logic, Darius.

  20. Darius T December 3, 2008 at 2:57 pm #

    While you are avoiding the issue, I did chuckle at the Biblegateway joke. 🙂

    My point is that your anecdotal evidence is hardly enough. I remember a commenter on here awhile back saying that because his friends are redneck bigots, all Southerners are. I think even you can see the error in arguing from limited personal experience. Furthermore, I have seen you on MANY occasions misrepresent what I or other conservatives have said on here, so how are we to know that you’re not doing that again? Some evidence of a widespread mentality would help.

  21. Paul December 3, 2008 at 3:28 pm #

    Darius,

    I haven’t misrepresented you. You may not like the representations of yourself, but they are based entirely in fact. Sometimes we don’t like looking in mirrors.

    Do I know of any grand evangelical commentators that came out and said on their weblogs that if you criticize George Bush that you are criticizing God himself? No. There’s a reason why Mohler and Piper are respected and it’s because they’re smart enough to know when not to say something entirely stupid.

    However, John Q. Independent Baptist isn’t always so smart. Because of that lack of smarts, I’ve been entertained on many, many, and I do mean MANY occasions.

    But, since you don’t believe me (and Ferg for that matter), I’ll give you my top five in the course of the next five posts here. At which point, I will ask again, what is the precise # where Darius just chuckles and goes, “okay then, it’s NOT a straw man”?

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