Progressives responded with incredulous indignation Wednesday after President-elect Joe Biden stated he’s contemplating tapping Republicans for his Cabinet, whereas claiming that there’s a “vital” progressive presence in his nascent administration.
Biden’s remarks got here throughout a Tuesday interview with NBC News, the president-elect’s first since profitable the election, in which he acknowledged he’s contemplating Republicans—even individuals who supported President Donald Trump—for positions in his administration.
“We nonetheless have much more appointments to make,” stated Biden. “I need this nation to be united.”
When requested if he has spoken with progressive Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) or Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) about doable Cabinet nominations, Biden then stated that “we have already got vital illustration of progressives in our administration, however nothing is off the desk.”
Justice Democrats and the Sunrise Movement led progressive teams and individuals who pushed again on Biden’s declare, noting that whereas the organizations are “inspired” by a number of the new appointments, “we don’t agree that progressives have already got vital illustration in the administration because it stands.”
The two teams advised some potential Cabinet appointments that might lend credence to the president-elect’s “vital illustration” declare, together with Rep. Deb Haaland (D-N.M.) for inside secretary; both Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.) or Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) for housing and city improvement secretary; and Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) or former Detroit Health Commissioner Dr. Abdul El-Sayed for well being and human companies secretary.
While now we have been inspired by a few of Joe Biden’s appointments and are largely relieved by who he has not chosen, we don’t agree that progressives have already got vital illustration in the administration because it stands. https://t.co/X3GS4K5TfL pic.twitter.com/xjVK8NEVkL
— Justice Democrats (@justicedems) November 25, 2020
Other observers, many with crimson roses on their Twitter profiles indicating their help for democratic socialism, had been much less diplomatic about their disdain for Biden’s selections to this point:
Aligning with Biden’s feedback, The Daily Beast on Tuesday revealed an article by Hana Trudo entitled “Progessives Can’t Find Anyone in Biden’s Cabinet to Be Mad About—Yet” that left legions of lefties scratching their heads. Many progressive Twitter customers confirmed Trudo simply how “mad” they really are:
Outside the 280 character restrict stricture of Twitter, main progressive voices supplied extra incisive critiques of Biden’s choices. Panning the president-elect’s hiring of oil and gas industry favorite Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-La.) and former Big Pharma lobbyist Steve Ricchetti, Justice Democrats’ Waleed Shahid said on Democracy Now! final week that “progressives are upset” and “deserve enough illustration if Joe Biden desires to be a unity president.”
Biden introduced Tuesday that he tapped fossil gasoline ally Cedric Richmond and former pharmaceutical lobbyist Steve Ricchetti for senior White House roles. “Progressives are upset,” says @_waleedshahid. “We deserve enough illustration if Joe Biden desires to be a unity president.” pic.twitter.com/DeCg0V9949
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— Democracy Now! (@democracynow) November 19, 2020
On local weather change, Sunrise Movement govt director Varshini Prakash called Biden’s fossil fuel-friendly picks and prospects a “betrayal” and “an affront to the younger individuals who made [the president elect’s] victory doable.”
On the associated challenge of poisonous chemical substances, client and environmental acivist Erin Brockovich lamented Biden’s inclusion of DuPont advisor W. Michael McCabe on his transition staff: “Dear Joe Biden,” she wrote in an op-ed. “Are you kidding me?”
On the difficulty of financial inequality and supporting middle- and working-class Americans, progressive advocacy teams together with Demand Progress and the Revolving Door Project have implored Biden to keep away from appointing a “company Cabinet” and to choose individuals who will serve human want, not plutocrats’ greed.
An astounding 68 p.c of Americans say they need lawmakers to reject company executives and lobbyists if they’re nominated for Joe Biden’s cupboard posts, in accordance with a brand new survey. https://t.co/QNnlBnakCW
— Jacobin (@jacobinmag) November 25, 2020
One factor to know about Biden’s cupboard picks is that you just don’t actually have to know them as people. They all come from the identical establishments, have the identical company backing and imagine in the identical ideology: ruthless capitalism and American exceptionalism.
— Rania Khalek (@RaniaKhalek) November 23, 2020
Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) have warned in opposition to the appointment of former Biden Chief of Staff Bruce Reed to go the Office of Management and Budget.
“We are extraordinarily involved by the stories that Reed is a frontrunner to go [OMB]… given his historical past of antipathy in the direction of financial safety applications that working individuals depend on,” the three Squad members stated as a part of a petition.
On the difficulty of U.S. militarism, CodePink co-founder Medea Benjamin, additionally showing on Democracy Now!, ripped Biden’s consideration for protection secretary of main military-industrial advanced participant Michèle Flournoy—who supported the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq and helped persuade the Obama-Biden administration to wage struggle on Libya in 2011—warning that she “represents the epitome of what’s worst concerning the Washington blob.”
“The foreseeable risks of choosing Flournoy to run the Pentagon are compounded by Biden’s choice of Antony Blinken to be secretary of state.”
Echoing Benjamin’s sentiments, writer and activist Norman Solomon wrote for Common Dreams Monday that “the foreseeable risks of choosing Flournoy to run the Pentagon are compounded by Biden’s choice of Antony Blinken to be secretary of state.”
The chance of Flournoy’s choice, wrote Solomon, “must be understood as a state of affairs for the president-elect to stay his center fingers in the eyes of Americans who’re fed up with infinite struggle and ongoing militarism.”
CodePink and different peace teams and activists additionally expressed alarm and outrage over Biden’s tapping of Avril Haines as director of nationwide intelligence, citing her position in drone strike coverage throughout Barack Obama’s presidency and masking up torture perpetrated by members of the George W. Bush administration.
It wasn’t all anger and angst, nevertheless; Benjamin took trip for a literal tune and dance to point out her contempt for the prospect of a Defense Secretrary Flournoy, singing to salsa strains, “We do not care about your gender, we care about your plans/If you’re a warhawk in heels we won’t be your followers.”