Cabinet Full of Corporate Honchos, Lawyers and Shills

November 20, 2008 in Grassroots Democracy, Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC — Green Party leaders called on President-elect Barack
Obama to appoint a Cabinet that will pursue real reform, in accord
with Mr. Obama’s promise of change in the new administration.

“Democratic and Republican presidents alike have a record of naming
industry chiefs, corporate board members and lawyers, and others loyal
to wealthy, elite interests,” said Holly Hart, secretary of the Green
Party of the United States. “If President Obama truly believes in
‘change we can believe in,’ he’ll appoint a Cabinet that looks like
America — not just in ethnic and gender diversity, but in its
dedication to the needs of working Americans and the goal of
international peace and justice.”

Greens called Mr. Obama’s choice of Rahm Emanuel for White House Chief
of Staff especially unfortunate, citing Mr. Emanuel’s position as
managing director of investment banks Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein,
earning him $18 million between 1999 and 2002 and his track record in
Congress since 2003.

The appointment of Mr. Emanuel confirms Mr. Obama’s pledge to AIPAC
that he will maintain the same uncritical support for Israel as the
Clinton and Bush administrations, whose policies resulted in
increasing human rights violations against Palestinians and greater
instability in the region. Mr. Emanuel was also one of the original
drafters of NAFTA and now favors similar antidemocratic ‘free trade’
pacts with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea, which would cost more US
jobs and suppress environmental and labor protections.

Green Party leaders said that Rahm Emanuel’s appointment was
consistent with Mr. Obama’s choice of Sen. Joe Biden as his Vice
President. Despite his reputation in the media as a defender of
working people, Mr. Biden helped draft a law signed by President Bush
that relaxed regulations on financial institutions, giving them more
power over Americans facing financial problems and transferring risk
from predatory lenders to borrowers. As an architect of mandatory
minimum drug laws (including the RAVE Act), Sen. Biden helped put the
children of working families behind bars.

Among the corporate-connected names on the list for the Obama Cabinet
are Eric Holder, Jr. for Attorney General and former Iowa Gov. Tom
Vilsack for Secretary of Agriculture. Mr. Holder is a partner at
Covington & Burling, which represents the National Football League,
Chiquita, and Merck, and Gov. Vilsack is an enthusiastic advocate of
genetically engineered crops and corn- and soy-based biofuels, with
ties to Monsanto, whose products and policies have destroyed
independent and family farms around the world.

“Barack Obama’s mantra of ‘change’ is already a lie. With Rahm
Emanuel as his Chief of Staff, and with Hillary Clinton rumored to be
Secretary of State, the Obama White House is ready to pursue much of
the same agenda as previous administrations,” said Cliff Thornton,
co-chair of the Green Party of the United States. “It’s a twisted
irony that some tried to tag Obama as a socialist, a perception that
will make it that much easier for his administration to continue the
practice of redistributing wealth from middle- and low-income
Americans to America’s wealthiest. Bill Clinton was denounced as a
liberal by the same right-wing pundits whose corporate buddies he was
handing America over to. The same sell-out is going to happen all
over again.”

“Voters who elected Barack Obama because of his promise of change and
the hope of a progressive administration need to wake up and realize
they’re in for yet another fight. Only if the voters hold Obama to
his promises can we avoid the same pro-corporate and warhawk policies
that came out of the disastrous Clinton and Bush White Houses,” added
Mr. Thornton.

4 responses to Cabinet Full of Corporate Honchos, Lawyers and Shills

  1. Smoke and Mirrors. Same problems, just a different angle. There needs to be a third party and it needs to be the Green Party.

  2. “Cabinet Full of Corporate Honchos, Lawyers and Shills” …..Ronald Hardy

    Barack Obama don’ need no Section Q folks (Library of Congress Classification).
    All problems gonna be solved by the
    Section J folks.

    Did you ‘spect otherwise?

    (I kinda thought he might get atleast one Section J person with a background in economics, but even that’s waaaay too much to ask.)

  3. If the Obama administration that’s apparently taking shape is socialist, or even liberal, I am the next king of Sweden!

  4. Nothing too surprising here. Obama is at best a centrist; that’s where the supposed “left” of our country’s leadership is. This will become evident over time, with more conservative Dems and “soft” Republicans (Chuck Hagel, etc.) placed in leadership positions.