“Change” Not Living Up To Expectations?

When you live by identity politics, you are likely to suffer because of them. And that’s especially true when you throw nebulous terms like “change” around and allow others to project their meaning of the word back on you. That’s admittedly what Obama did during the campaign. And he’s seeing what I’d call the expected, even anticipated, results:

Some members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) are disappointed President-elect Obama did not appoint more African-Americans to his Cabinet.

Obama tapped four blacks for Cabinet posts, including Eric Holder. If confirmed, Holder will be the first African-American attorney general.

But Obama passed over black candidates in selecting Cabinet nominees for positions central to setting policy for urban America, such as the departments of Education, Labor, and Housing and Urban Development.

Apparently, with a black president now coming into power, it was expected that certain cabinet positions would become “black” cabinet positions. That was the projected “change” that identity group expected with Obama.

Not to be out done, women too aren’t particularly impressed with the number of women in the cabinet:

“When you are looking at a Cabinet and you have such a small number of women in the room when the big decisions are being made, there need to be a lot more women’s voices in this administration,” said Kim Gandy, president of the National Organization for Women.

After all, that is the “change” women expected with an Obama administration.

Amy Siskind, co-founder of the nonpartisan group New Agenda, accuses Obama of taking “shocking steps backward” and said “this constituency does not matter to the president-elect.”

In fact, the Obama cabinet doesn’t have any more women in it than did his predecessor – and that’s just shockingly unacceptable.

And “progressives”, well, as you might imagine they’re getting the shaft as well. Chris Bowers breaks down the unhappy numbers for you:

The Congressional Progressive Caucus has 69 members in the incoming congress, plus former member Nancy Pelosi (the Speaker resigns from ideological caucuses), plus new membership among freshman. Additionally, three members (Sherrod Brown, Bernie Sanders and Tom Udall) have been elected to the Senate in 2006-2008. Overall, including Nancy Pelosi, 25.4% of the Democratic membership of the House and the Senate in 2007-2008 were Congressional Progressive Caucus members. One member of this group, Hilda Solis, will be in Obama’s cabinet. Another member, Xavier Bacerra, was asked to serve as trade representative, but declined.

That is certainly not the change the far left expected.

And the gay community – well for them “change” certainly didn’t come in the guise of Rick Warren giving the invocation at the inauguration:

People for the American Way President Kathryn Kolbert told CNN that she is “deeply disappointed” about the choice of Warren and said the powerful platform at the inauguration should instead have been given to someone who has “consistent mainstream American values.”

In fact, Warren’s inclusion (note the word with irony) has led to the cancellation of at least one inauguration party.

“Change”, it seems, is one tricky bit of business. Apparently when you try to please everyone, you end up pleasing no one. And that’s especially true when it isn’t you deciding what “pleased” means.

[Crossposted at QandO]

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