Admittedly, I have mixed emotions on Barack Obama's tendency to invite Repubblicans into his administration, looking for the best and brightest, emulating both Kennedy and Lincoln in certain aspects of his proposed administration.
It is true, that we want people who are qualified for their jobs who have the expertise necessary to succeed in the objectives that I hope President Obama clearly articulates to his cabinet. Admittedly, many people who worked within both the Bush and Clinton administrations found themselves under different regimes with different guidance. I can relate to that. I also spent my time working in government, and was required to take, and defend actions, that I did not necessarily agree with. That comes with government service. I am hopeful that those who serve President Obama, regardless what misteps they may have been required to defend in the Bush Administration see the light and take a new, and more moral course regarding rights under our constititution.
Chief among these is John Brennan, someone whom I perceive is well-meaning and highly intelligent, who has defended some of Bush's worst offenses. He is now Obama's primary intelligence source. Is this man flawless? Absolutely not. Check out Glenn Greenwald's expose on him at Salon.com.
The question is, is can those who supported the worst of Bush use their experience and skills to acheive Obama's goals and objectives and turn away from the practices of what I would consider to be the worst administration in American history.
Also, consider the possibility of keeping on for a time, Robert Gates as Secretary of Defense. Admittedly, I endorsed his taking over DOD from Rumsfeld. I have always viewed Gates as a pragmatist and a realist. I am not peacenik, and have always rendered my scorn at Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld for their lack of realism. Pursuing American interests is not the same as unilaterally pissing off our allies to make a statement. Bush and his cadre were hotheads, morons and nincompoops. They misused our military, but having made commitments in Iraq and Afganistan, I was willing to give administrators a certain degree of latitude so long as they gave me evidence they were worthy of that latitude.
I know I sound like I am rambling. There is a part of me that wants to clean house. However, there is a part of me that understands that our President needs fulfill his role as a uniter. Obama has a unique mandate to bring disparate views to government and make decisions based upon serious dialogue rather than strict adherence to an incoherent and inconsistent ideology that was espoused by the neocons.
I'm willing to give Obama a couple of years to see what he will do with his administration. I actually am encouraged that he is willing to put people with disparate opinions in that adminstration of his. So long as he articulates to subordinates that once the decision has been made, they must support and implement those decisions, I'm willing to give him enough rope to either pull us out of the shithole Bush has placed us in, or wrap it around our necks.
But, unlike most Republicans, if I perceive our necks are being constricted, I will speak out. I'm giving a degree of perogative, not a blank check. Most Republicans gave Bush a blank check for essentially six years, with disastorous consequences for our Republic. The Democrats that I believe in believe that government can be effective, if it is rational, transparent, and open to new ideas. Reagan was wrong when he declared that "government is the problem." "Bad government is the problem." Republicans have proven the latter dictum. Bush's incompetent administration of government doesn't mean that government is inherently ineffective, only that government dominated by those who disdain government action usually make governmental actiion in our behalf worthy of disdain.
****Corrected per a good suggestion from David Miller