Friday, February 13, 2009

Too Much Rivalry for Judd Gregg

It's sad day for the team of rivals, with conservative Republican Judd Gregg removing himself from consideration to be Secretary of Commerce.

I for one can't understand why it failed. You mean there are ideological differences between the Democratic President and a nominee for Commerce Secretary who doesn't believe there should be a Department of Commerce? WHO COULD HAVE SEEN THAT COMING?!?!

In fact, the dust clears on the Cabinet, you discover that Obama's team of rivals doesn't have many rivals after all. If it's based on ideology, it's a dozen or so Center-right policy makers vs. Steven Chu, Hilda Solis, and maybe Shinseki. Not only is it not a team of rivals, it's a pretty strong statement on what policy recommendations will be heard during your administration.

At this point a few different types of thinking would do the Obama administration a lot of good. But it's hard to sway the administration if you can't get in the door:

The House Blue Dog Coalition continues to wield outsize political power, thanks to a canny willingness to leverage its votes on key issues, while the Congressional Progressive Caucus must fight to be heard.

Case in point: the Blue Dogs are meeting directly with President Obama this afternoon on the stimulus bill. The Progressives have yet to hear back about their request for a meeting, which was issued almost a month ago.

I'm not too surprised to hear that, since Obama's first weeks have been packed similar attempts to court that constituency of so called "centrist" politicians. He's even agreed to host the Blue Dog's "fiscal responsibility (read: cut social security and everything but the military) summit" at the White House later this month. Progressives will need to find a way to make their voices heard with the Administration, and as Chris Bowers suggests, maybe blocking legislation (like the blue dogs) might be their best bet. We need to try something new, because whatever's going on now isn't working.


  1. am I the only person that thinks of Judge Dredd starring Sly Stallone every time they see the name Judd Gregg in print? yes? oh ok, sorry

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  3. I'm with you, we need to get a photoshop going.

  4. hahahha, i thought judd greg reminded me of something, that clears it up.