The problem with consensus cabinet picks.
Progressives have been relatively relieved that the Biden nominees have been far from ideal, but not the worst we could have gotten. There’s a reason to be less happy about consensus picks.
Joe Biden will become President with a (most likely) divided government, obstructionist GOP, opponent crying fraud with half the country behind him, a racial justice crisis, a global pandemic, and a deep economic crisis. It’s enough to decide to not get out of bed, and consensus is not what we need for this.
Biden’s cabinet picks know how to run the government; they’re experienced knowledgeable, and will be masterful at actually running departments and day to day deadlines. But we don’t actually need super effective technocrats, we need people who have an underlying vision.
That lack of underlying goal and vision is the big problem, especially with a divided govt. In order to take the actions we need to see on pandemic control, economic relief, govt reform, healthcare, Biden’s administration will have to wield the executive branch in a way few Presidents have dared before; finding every loophole and creative get-around in the book in order to push priorities through.
Biden’s team won’t do this, because Biden’s team are steeped in the accepted dogma of doing things and are all establishment insiders. America wants reform and wants change, just because they rejected the chaos of Trump’s administration doesn’t change the fact the country has been crying for radical reform for decades; they just want it without all the crazy people.
These not-so-bad “consensus picks” may not be evil war hungry deficit hawks (well, a few are) but they’re completely wedded to the establishment doctrine, and will govern as such, regardless of if any progressive priorities are adapted.
The argument for people like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren to be running the show in key departments is they have a driving force and underlying vision, and will jump through every hoop available and shatter every “conventional” norm to be just as ruthless at moving the country forwards as Republicans have been at moving the country backwards.
We have some polite, well educated, technocratic neoliberals. The remaining picks need some fire.