Lots of folks are expressing concern over Barack Obama's appointments, and in my new newspaper column I offer three separate thoughts on the worries: 1) Don't worry so much, 2) Worry a little bit and make your worries heard and 3) What did you expect?
This last point is arguably the most important. Because of the structure of the movement Obama built for himself, and because of the refusal/inability of an independent progressive movement to make concrete demands, he has more top-down power than any previous president. Whether you think that's good news or bad news, it is reality. We have elected a Dear Leader, and have ceded a lot of power to our Dear Leader. We have to simultaneously hope he makes good decisions, and figure out how to organize effectively in case he doesn't.