I Hope Biden Realizes Americans Don't Want More Corporate Crooks Like Rahm Emanuel In The Government
The first appointment Obama announced in 2008 after being elected president was his chief of staff: political thug and Wall Street whore Rahm Emanuel. It poisoned his first term right from the first day. An immense amount of good will just vanished instantly. Now Biden-- who doesn't even like Emanuel-- is rumored to be considering him for his Cabinet. (Rumors courtesy of Rahm, so maybe not.) Similarly, another horrible corporate shill, former Biden chief of staff and austerity fanatic Bruce Reed (once executive director of the Simpson-Bowles Commission, a set-up for cutting Social Security that Biden championed), is rumored to be headed for the top job at OMB.
David Sirota reported on a new poll by Data for Progress which asked people if they want their senators to approve some of the names-- both liberals and conservatives-- that have been floated for Biden's cabinet. These numbers reflect support and opposition by Democrats:
Deb Haaland, progressive New Mexico congresswoman
Chuy Garcia, progressive Illinois congressman
Brian Deese, "an executive at one of the world's largest financial firms-- a firm which is the world's largest investor in the fossil fuel industry"
Steve Ricchertti, "former corporate lobbyists [who] has worked on behalf of big pharmaceutical, Wall Street and insurance companies while pushing cuts to the social safety net"
Jared Bernstein, labor economist
Rohit Chopra, consumer advocate
Raphael Bostic, head of the Federal Reserve in Atlanta, who "has criticized Congress for not taking more action to support working people during the pandemic and has advocated for increasing the minimum wage"
Tony James, "an executive at the private equity firm Blackstone"
Larry Fink, CEO of Blackstone
Mark Gitenstein, corporate lobbyist
Janet Yellen, former Fed chair
Gina Raimondo, "current governor of Rhode Island and a former venture capitalist
Overall, 60 percent of respondents believe that Biden appointing corporate executives and lobbyists to his administration would be out of step with his campaign promises-- and 68 percent of respondents believe that if Biden nonetheless puts forward corporate-linked nominees, senators should reject them.
There is precedent for Democratic senators to block nominees from presidents of their own party-- that happened at least three times in Obama’s second term.
In 2013, when Obama was reportedly considering nominating Wall Street ally Larry Summers to head the Federal Reserve, Democratic senators short-circuited the nomination before it ever happened.
In 2014, Obama pushed to install banker Antonio Weiss into a top job at the Treasury Department, but the nomination was torpedoed by Warren, who used the confirmation fight as a way to spotlight the close ties between the White House and Wall Street.
The next year, Warren opposed Obama’s attempt to appoint corporate attorney Keir Gumbs to a Democratic seat on the Securities and Exchange Commission.
In a closely divided Senate, opposition to Biden nominees from even a handful of Democratic lawmakers could mean the difference between confirmation and rejection. That potentially gives progressive lawmakers more power in the Cabinet selection process.
A few days ago, we took a look at how billionaires are trying to take over the already failed and pitiful Florida Democratic Party by pushing former Miami Mayor Manny Diaz as party chair.
Anselm Weber, a recent candidate for the legislature in Fort Myers reminded me that "The Democrats got blown out at every level in Florida while a $15/hour minimum wage Initiative was passing with 61% of the vote the same day. Instead of seeing the obvious solution-- to run on progressive policies that distinguish the party from elitist posturing-- the establishment is doubling down on a mayor who has no grassroots background and the backing of a deplorable, racist billionaire [Mike Bloomberg]. This pick will mean the end of any chance of the Democrats winning again in Florida and will completely cede ground to the Republicans when it comes to working class families."
Weber was talking specifically about Florida but Biden and his team need to take what he's saying seriously and across the nation. The Democratic Party has picked up some ground among college educated suburbanites at the expense of shattering the party's foundations among working class voters. That is setting in motion a more conservative and unattractive Democratic Party. Picking people like Rahm Emanuel and Bruce Reed-- not to mention Antony Blinken and Michèle Flournoy-- is leading to big defeats in 2022 and beyond, something Biden seems completely blind to.