Biden cabinet under criticism from Left as not liberal enough

“The progressive movement deserves a number of seats — important seats — in the Biden administration,” said Sen. Bernie Sanders.

By Josh Plank, World Israel News

Projected President-elect Joe Biden has drawn criticism from liberals who say that his selection of mostly Obama-era appointees will result in a cabinet that is too moderate, the Washington Post reported Sunday.

According to a Washington Post analysis, about 80% of the White House and agency officials announced by Biden have the word “Obama” on their resume. Most have known Biden for years, or even decades.

“We would like to see more young progressives in roles in the Biden administration,” said Evan Weber, the political director of the Sunrise Movement, a group focused on climate change.

The group has published a list of recommended cabinet picks that include Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.).

“We cannot move forward in a new direction with just the same people including some of the people who are responsible for the mess we are in,” Weber said.

Sayu Bhojwani, the president of New American Leaders, a group focused on racial diversity, acknowledged that Biden has made some appointments of color. “But there is a lot of same old, same old,” she said.

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“Having voices of color who have kind of grown up in a system that wasn’t built for people of color means that we’re not going to get innovation,” Bhojwani said.

Jennifer Rubin, a columnist for the Washington Post, said that Republican concerns about the rise of socialism under a Biden administration were “poppycock.”

“Still, it’s worth pointing out that since the election, it has become even more apparent how moderate Biden really is. There is not a single super-progressive among his cabinet and senior staff picks,” Rubin said.

The Hill‘s Krystal Ball was also critical of Biden’s alleged lack of radicalism, contrasting him with former President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

“When FDR surveyed the utter devastation from the Great Depression, he wrote that, ‘It is time for the country to become fairly radical for a generation.’ Joe Biden has surveyed the destruction wrought by not only a depression, but a pandemic and mass social unrest, and decided that now was the time to shoo to the right, not to rock the boat, and hope that empty rhetoric alone will suffice,” she said.

Bernie Sanders told Axios last week, “The progressive movement deserves a number of seats — important seats — in the Biden administration. Have I seen that at this point? I have not.”

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“I’ve told the Biden people: The progressive movement is 35%-40% of the Democratic coalition. Without a lot of other enormously hard work on the part of grassroots activists and progressives, Joe would not have won the election,” he said.

Despite Biden’s selection of a large number of Obama appointees, he assured NBC News last month that his administration would not be “a third Obama term.”

When asked whether he would consider former rivals like Sanders and Warren for cabinet positions, Biden said, “We already have significant representation among progressives in our administration, but there’s nothing really off the table.”

He said that it would be a difficult decision to take an important progressive leader out of Congress.

“I have a very ambitious, very progressive agenda, and it’s going to take really strong leaders in the House and Senate to get it done,” Biden said.