Obama’s Team: A Right-Wing Cabinet for a Government of Big Business

By Patrick Martin
19 January 2009

In advance of his inauguration, President-elect Barack Obama has assembled a cabinet drawn from the upper echelons of American society and the right-wing of the Democratic Party. Despite his invocations of “change,” his appeals to antiwar sentiment and to young people in the course of nearly two years of campaigning, there is not a single figure in the leading personnel of the Obama administration drawn from the more liberal elements of the Democratic Party, let alone anyone representative of the broad masses of working people and youth.

The right-wing character of Obama’s nominees is described by the media under the approving labels of “centrist,” “moderate,” and—most of all—“pragmatic.” This terminology signifies that the incoming Obama team consists entirely of individuals who pass muster with the corporate-financial elite. ...

In its basic policies, the incoming Democratic administration will change the policies of the Bush administration only at the margins. One could posit a law of political physics: the more peripheral the policy area, the more “change” Obama will bring. Conversely, on the most critical issues—war, the economy, democratic rights—the shifts in policy and personnel will be cosmetic at best. ...


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