The Great Obama ‘All White Male Cabinet’ Conspiracy

Posted on January 10, 2013


SO … today’s outrage du jour among the screeching Republican bobblehead rank-and-file is that President Barack Obama is loading his cabinet with all white men, and violating his promises of diversity. They complaining that he isn’t appointing women. They’re complaining that he isn’t appointing minorities. They’re complaining that he isn’t appointing the disabled. And, of course, all of this is just a subset of their core complaint; that Barack Obama, a black man, is the President of the United States.

Wasn’t it just two weeks ago that the second-tier headlines and top stories were that Republicans were infuriated over Obama’s selection of Susan Rice to replace Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State?

Wasn’t it just a few months ago that Republicans were infuriated over Obama’s selection of Elizabeth Warren to lead the Consumer Protection Bureau?

Wasn’t it just early last year that Republicans were infuriated by Obama’s selection of Elena Kagan to the U.S. Supreme Court, which was a rehash of Republicans being infuriated over Obama’s selection of Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court?

Wasn’t it Tuesday that Republicans were infuriated over Obama’s selection of John Brennan to head the Central Intelligence Agency – and the complain about Brennan is that he’s too closely tied to George W. Bush!?!?

And wasn’t it … YESTERDAY … that the Republicans were infuriated by Obama’s selection of REPUBLICAN Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense, replacing REPUBLICAN Robert Gates?

For the record, Obama has appointed *QUITE* a few women and minorities to cabinet posts. Just to name a few:

  • Hilary Rodham Clinton, Secretary of State
  • Elena Kagan, Supreme Court Justice (vehemently opposed by GOP)
  • Regina Benjamin, Surgeon General (vehemently opposed by GOP)
  • Elizabeth Warren, Director – Consumer Protection Bureau (vehemently opposed by GOP)
  • Lisa Jackson, EPA Administrator (vehemently opposed by GOP)
  • Karen Gordon Mills, Administrator, Small Business Administration (vehemently opposed by GOP)
  • Susan Rice, Ambassador to the United Nations (vehemently opposed by GOP)
  • Janet Napolitano, Secretary of Homeland Security
  • Mary Shapiro, Chairwoman of SEC (vehemently opposed by GOP)
  • Cecilia Munoz, Director of Domestic Policy Council
  • Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services (vehemently opposed by GOP)
  • Sonia Sotomayor, Supreme Court Justice (vehemently opposed by GOP)
  • Hilda Solis, Secretary of Labor (vehemently opposed by GOP)
  • Nancy-Ann DeParle, Deputy Chief of Staff
  • Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to the President
  • Melody Barnes, Director of Domestic Policy
  • Kathryn Ruemmler, White House Counsel
  • Latifa Lyles, Acting Director of the Women’s Bureau- Labor Department (vehemently opposed by GOP)
  • Carol Browner, Coordinator of Energy and Climate Policy (vehemently opposed by GOP)
  • Nancy Sutley, Chair-White House Council on Environmental Quality (vehemently opposed by GOP)
  • Rebecca Blank, Acting Secretary of Commerce

But that’s just the kind of open-minded, compromise-supporting people the GOP are: Oppose every nomination the president makes, and then bark at him for not staffing his cabinet with “the right kind” of people. That must be why Mitch McConnell said on Monday – obviously in the grandest spirit of bipartisanship, “We in the Senate will not confirm any Obama nominee.”  How much more cooperative can you get than that?

The GOP is just resolute in that they’re going to make every single nomination from Obama a fight. They’re playing to their base, insincerely, of course, but obviously. None of these nominations are likely to be filibustered, in the end, because the GOP’s objections simply aren’t based on anything resembling actual merit. But the Republican base wants a fight over anything Obama wants, so these shameless obstructionists are obliging, at least with empty tough talk.

But what they’re also doing, unwittingly, is sealing the case for the Democratic to pursue filibuster reform. This kind of knee-jerk opposition and obstruction just demonstrates that Republicans haven’t learned a damned thing from the 2012 election, Mitt Romney’s loss, and the loss of two Senate seats. They’re as determined as ever to obstruct, threaten, posture, pontificate and bully the White House on everything from nominations to legislation. It worked for them in the case of Susan Rice, so why wouldn’t they do what they always do; repeat the lie … or in this case … repeat the stonewalling?

It’s the gutless, dishonorable, ineffective and most childish way to get what you want. Problem is, the country is sick of giving Republicans their lollipops.

And while we’re nailing down the details of true, meaningful filibuster reform, let’s go ahead and throw a mandatory, no-exceptions, retro-active maximum limit of two terms for any individual to serve in any federal office, position or appointment?

The worst that could happen is that we’d get a completely ineffective Congress – as opposed to that shining beacon of efficiency and public-minded progress that we have in Washington now.