Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Miffed Contest

What's made up of five women, four African-Americans, three Latinos, [no Jews and one Maronite Lebanese], two Republicans and two Asians, including a Nobel Prize winner?

The answer: President-elect Barack Obama's Cabinet.
So says CNN, in Why some women's groups are miffed at Obama. Not wanting the gays to have the exclusive on Obama Anger, Disappointment & Dissillusionment, along with Liberals who are upset over the number of moderate picks, women's groups have voiced their ADD over the paltry number of Cabinet positions given to women by the Obama Administration. As CNN reports:

Obama is taking the big-tent approach to governing and wanted a Cabinet that stretches the tent wide.

"I think people will feel that we followed through on our commitment to make sure that this is not only an administration that is diverse ethnically, but it's also diverse politically and it's diverse in terms of people's life experience," Obama said December 16.

It might be diverse, but not everyone is happy. Some women's groups are disappointed. Among Obama's strongest backers during the election, they now say they don't have enough seats at the table.

That's because of Obama's 20 announced Cabinet-level posts, five went to women: Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano as homeland security secretary, Sen. Hillary Clinton as secretary of state, Rep. Hilda Solis as labor secretary, Susan Rice as United Nations ambassador and Lisa Jackson as Environmental Protection Agency chief.
Sounds impressive. So what's to complain about?

Amy Siskind, co-founder of the nonpartisan group New Agenda, accuses Obama of taking "shocking steps backward" and said "this constituency does not matter to the president-elect."

Obama has said he's picking people for their skills and not pandering to special interests.

"In this case, we have seen Obama emphasize credentials," said Anne Kornblut of The Washington Post. "I think they obviously knew they would get a lot of bang for their buck, so to speak, in appointing Clinton, but at the end of the day, the numbers really aren't any more impressive than any previous president."

Oh, how could he! So, they'd rather a female Sarah Palin rather than a well-qualified male of any race or creed? He may be post-racial, but we don't want any of that post-sexual stuff, now do we? But, it's not just women who are moaning and groaning, as CNN observes:

But it's not just women who are angry with Obama's choices. Other factions in the Democratic Party are, too.

Many gay and lesbian supporters are irate over Obama choosing Pastor Rick Warren to lead the invocation at the historic January 20 inauguration.

Warren, one of the most influential religious leaders in the nation, has championed issues such as a reducing global poverty, promoting human rights and fighting the AIDS epidemic.

But the founder of the Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California, has also adhered to socially conservative stances -- including his opposition to gay marriage and abortion rights -- that put him at odds with many in the Democratic Party, especially the party's most liberal wing.

* * * *
Some progressives, meanwhile, are also disappointed that Obama has tapped moderates for key positions.
I have complained many times about Republicans, calling them the Stepford Party because they do not brook dissent of any kind. I certainly wouldn't suggest that the Democrats adopt such a philosophy (not that they would/could anyway), but sometimes it seems that all Democrats do is complain and disagree -- with Republicans and Democrats alike. Liberals apparently never learned how to pick their battles or prioritize. Unfortunately, the constant naysaying merely serves to diminish the influence of left, which also reduces the ability to garner support over the important issues that matter. That, of course, causes more complaining by the left -- about being ignored.

And the reaction of Obama to all this kvetching?
Obama's team privately says wait and see. They feel it's too early to criticize his choices before they've even had a chance to be sworn in.
Good luck with that!


"Two years from now, I want the American people to be able to say, "Government's not perfect; there are some things Obama does that get on my nerves. But you know what? I feel like the government's working for me. I feel like it's accountable. I feel like it's transparent. I feel that I am well informed about what government actions are being taken. I feel that this is a President and an Administration that admits when it makes mistakes and adapts itself to new information, that believes in making decisions based on facts and on science as opposed to what is politically expedient." Those are some of the intangibles that I hope people two years from now can claim,"

- Barack Obama, president-elect.

(Via Andrew Sullivan)

No comments: