What Did You Expect?

Greenwald, understandably, is mystified by liberal outrage at Obama's appointments thus far:

It's difficult to understand what basis progressives think they have for demanding greater inclusion in his cabinet and other high-level appointments, and it's even more difficult to understand the basis for the disappointment and surprise being expressed over the fact that center-right Democrats and Republicans are welcomed in his inner circle, but -- as The Nation's Chris Hayes put it -- "not a single, solitary, actual dyed-in-the-wool progressive has, as far as I can tell, even been mentioned for a position in the new administration."

It goes without saying that there will be Obama policies, both in the foreign policy and domestic realms, that are vastly superior to what we've seen the last eight years and to what we would have seen had McCain/Palin won.  And as the second-tier positions begin to fill out, there will probably be a handful of appointees who progressives consider to be one of their own.  And as Digby points out, the magnitude of the financial crisis may compel him to embrace policies that are deemed to be quite progressive (from massive stimulus packages and government intervention in the economy to a diminution of our foreign adventurism).

But Barack Obama is a centrist, establishment politician.  That is what he has been since he's been in the Senate, and more importantly, it's what he made clear -- both explicitly and through his actions -- that he intended to be as President.  Even in the primary, he paid no price whatsoever for that in terms of progressive support.  As is true for the national Democratic Party generally, he has no good reason to believe he needs to accommodate liberal objections to what he is doing.  The Joe Lieberman fiasco should have made that as conclusively clear as it gets.

I'm certainly not surprised by the centrism or the bipartisan flavor. And I'm very happy to see grown-ups in the economic and foreign policy areas. My only problem is with the legacy of torture, where Bush and Cheney have poisoned the center of the CIA.