Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Obama's Poor Choices

Quite a couple of days of bad choices for Obama.

I talked yesterday about Ken Salazar, who I still think is a bad choice for Interior that has many environmental groups upset. I am somewhat annoyed, though not surprised, with Tom Vilsack at Agriculture. Vilsack is a friend to agribusiness and big supporter of ethanol, which as I have said many times here, is a really bad idea. Certainly he doesn't bring any kind of forward-thinking leadership on food issues to the table.

Ray LaHood at Transportation is very disappointing. I suppose a second Republican cabinet secretary is not surprising and I'm not sure where else I would rather see one, but it's unlikely LaHood is really going to go gangbusters over alternative transportation technologies.

Finally, what in the living hell is Obama thinking having Rick Warren say a prayer at the inauguration. I know that this is the least meaningful of these selections, but Warren supported Prop. 8 in California and is hostile to gay issues. The GLBT community may rightfully see this as a slap in the face.

I was hoping that after naming centrists to the big cabinet posts that Obama would promote progressives in some of the lesser positions. I was wrong. I can't think of one true progressive in any cabinet post. Some of the picks are pretty good (Napolitano, Shinseki, Chu), but from a progressive point of view, it's a pretty disappointing group so far. With the selections for Interior, Agriculture, and Transportation, 3 departments that progressives tend to care a great deal about, all going to center to center-right figures, my hopes for the Obama administration have taken a hit. With the Warren prayer, I am disgusted with Obama for the first time.