Anonymous Liberal makes a good point: “The Notion of a ‘Bipartisan Cabinet’ Has Always Been a Stupid One.”
If you elect a Democrat, you get a Democratic Cabinet. It’s as simple as that. Or should be.
There are plenty of ways in which a president can demonstrate that he’s open minded and willing to work constructively with the opposition. But putting members of the opposition in charge of implementing his policy is just dumb. The fact that the Beltway centrist chorus believes that this is what good presidents should do is just a reflection of their own bizarre obsession with symbolism and belief that bipartisanship is some sort end in and of itself.
I think it’s important for Obama to continue to appear respectful and bipartisan in his general governing approach, if for no other reason than to provide a contrast with the never-ending immaturity and childishness of the GOP. But the best way to do that is by sitting down and talking to Republicans, not putting them in charge of various executive branch departments.
“Bob Gates is an exception to this general rule,” A.L. states, and I think he’s right — whether or not you like Gates is beside the point. But there was no need for Obama to nominate Judd Gregg.
The symbolism — along with the approval of the likes of David Broder and his centrist ilk — just isn’t worth it.