Dec 1, 2008
Barack Obama campaigned against the “politics of the past,” but his appointments show that he plans to make the future look a lot like the past.
One after another, he has appointed people who have been right in the thick of creating the messes we confront.
To deal with the economy, Obama chose people like:
Lawrence Summers as White House National Economics Council director. In 2007, Summers said, “No one can be other than appalled by the failures of risk management that have led to this enormous disruption in the nation’s financial markets and in the lives of a fairly large number of families.” He ought to know – he instituted some of those “failures of risk management” when he removed financial controls as one of Clinton’s Treasury Secretaries!
Timothy Geithner as Treasury Secretary. Geithner, who was also in the Clinton White House, has spent the past five years in the Federal Reserve during the Bush administration. Geithner was one of the main architects of the recent bailouts, along with Bush’s Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson – so we know what he’ll plan to do.
And, Peter Orszag, as White House Budget Director. He too worked in the Clinton White House. As recently as September, he said, “The most likely scenario appears to be one in which economic growth continues.” Nice call!
The head of Bush’s Council of Economic Advisors says that Obama has put together an impressive team. That ought to tell us something!
To address foreign policy, that is, effectively two wars, Obama is appointing:
Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State! When he ran for president against her, Obama criticized her willingness to send the U.S. to war. Now he’s appointing her to carry out that policy!
And, Obama is planning to keep as his Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who currently holds that position under George W. Bush. Gates has been credited with the “success” of the “surge.” The surge has only succeeded in destroying the country of Iraq, and in creating a much larger antagonism toward the U.S. in that region and around the world. Now Obama is attaching himself to that plan.
This is not what people expected when they voted for a candidate promising change!
Obama explains these choices by saying that in this time of crisis, we need experience, continuity and stability in the White House.
In other words – No change! More of the same!
The candidate of “change” has appointed longstanding functionaries from BOTH parties who for the past sixteen years have carried out the same foreign and economic policies that have attacked working people everywhere. This shouldn’t surprise us: no matter who the front man is – Bush or Obama – these people run the bourgeois state – for the bourgeoisie.
And that class WANTS stability and continuity – more of the same.