I am getting a little uncomfortable with the increasing tendency of the punditry to believe that Obama the President will be a centrist, unlike Obama the Candidate. The speculation among otherwise rational conservative commentators over how the left wingnuts must be going crazy is overdone. Every Obama supporter I know still has a glow bright enough to power an organic fruit smoothie maker.
It is understandable why, roughly two months before Barack Obama takes office, some conclude that Obama is going to run a Bush III administration (not that THAT would be a good thing). Sure, the Defense and Treasury Secretaries are Bushies, and most of the other Cabinet members, White House senior staff, and senior transition team members are Clintonites (and in one case, a Clinton). One could conclude that Obama faked-out the left wing supporters who brought him from obscurity to the presidency in just a few years. But could this be a head fake to the right by someone who famously loves to shoot hoops and reputedly is a master of the head fake on the court?
We will not know until we see who Obama appoints to the positions at which the important policy implementation decisions are made, the Undersecretaries, the political appointees in Justice, the EPA and elsewhere, and of course, the judiciary. People at these levels make the day-to-day policy decisions that can deliver enormous economic, social and legal changes without you even knowing it, and even if you knew, there wouldn’t be much you could do about it.