While Barack Obama introduced the first members of his economic team, a wailing noise could be heard somewhere in the background. That was the sound of complaining liberals, who worry that the president-elect is already surrendering the progressive moment to centrists—the kind of post-election disappointment with which they are all too familiar.
Looking over the names of the new Obama appointees to important positions in the Treasury and the White House, critics on the left have dismissed them as “Clintonite retreads” or worse. According to this gloomy analysis, the incoming administration is poised to repeat the mistakes of the past rather than create new policy for the future, by staffing itself with economists wedded to old ideologies of deregulation and budget-balancing, rather than government intervention and public investment.
If résumés represented destiny, then there would certainly be cause for concern.
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