Biden’s Cabinet: Obama Administration 3.0
While the patriots across the country are running out of nails to bite watching the Trump legal team taking on the swing states voter fraud, most Democrats are praising Biden’s cabinet nominees and appointments. Sure enough, there is a great chance that the truth will prevail, and all those cabinet picks will remain in the dustbin of history, where they belong. At the same time, these people represent the potential trends of the U.S. policy both at home and abroad as the current Democrat establishment sees it.
Joe Biden announced his first round of picks in November, he called his choices “experienced, crisis-tested leaders who are ready to hit the ground running on day one […] These officials will start working immediately to rebuild our institutions, renew and reimagine American leadership to keep Americans safe at home and abroad, and address the defining challenges of our time.” Top Democrats are rushing the Senate hearings for Biden’s cabinet that they want to start before inauguration. Despite the calls for unity and “time to heal,” Biden (whether himself or, most likely, some shadow team of the real decision-makers) is evidently taking a course on radically reversing the Trump administration’s “America First” policies. In the end of November, Biden tapped Obama-era officials for top national security and economic roles -- the same people who were one of the main reasons why it was Trump and not Hillary winning over the White House just four years ago. Let’s meet – or rather, reintroduce -- the key figures.
Foreign policy: the lobbyists-hawks
Antony Blinken, Secretary of State
During his campaign, Biden claimed that he intended to end “forever wars,” -- many of which he helped start. A nomination of a hawkish Antony Blinken certainly looks like a betrayal of the campaign promises and has attracted considerable criticism from both left and right for Blinken’s record of supporting wars and so-called humanitarian interventions. Blinken was a top aide to Biden when the then-senator voted to authorize the U.S. invasion of Iraq, and helped Biden develop a proposal to partition Iraq into three separate regions.
As deputy national security advisor, Blinken supported the military intervention in Libya in 2011. In 2018 he helped launch WestExec Advisors, a “strategic advisory firm” that is secretive about its clients, and still refuses to disclose them. Jonathan Guyer writes in the American Prospect, “I learned that Blinken [and the cofounders who also served in the Obama administration] used their networks to build a large client base at the intersection of tech and defense. An Israeli surveillance startup turned to them… Google billionaire Eric Schmidt and Fortune 100 companies went to them, too.” Will we find a patriotic Secretary of State in Tony Blinken? Ironically, as Blinken himself once said, “Registered lobbyist is a bullshit distinction. For me it’s: Are you making a living based on monetizing a set of relationships or a policy domain with personal interest?”
Lobbying interests of the foreign entities is something that Biden and his close friends from the foreign-policy team seem to be great at. For example, both Linda Thomas-Greenfield, nominated to be a U.N. ambassador and Jake Sullivan (national security advisor) repeat the pattern of joining international consulting firms whose clients are unknown, but both with substantial capitalization.
Avril Haines, director of national intelligence
Haines served as a deputy director of the CIA and Obama’s principal deputy national security adviser. Haines played a key role in the controversial drone program that cost the lives of up to 807 civilians in Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen. Some critics have accused Haines of complicity in the use of torture or “improved interrogation techniques” by the CIA after 9/11. Haines is also remembered for editing the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on the use of torture and approving a panel that ultimately decided not to reprimand CIA agents who spied on the committee’s investigators. She also worked for WestExec.
John Kerry, climate envoy
Obama’s ex-Secretary of State whose family is a close business partner to the Biden family, implicated in the shady business in Ukraine and China, Kerry is a champion of the Paris Climate Agreement, from which Trump withdrew the United States.
Domestic policy: socialism and control
Ron Klain, chief of staff
Known as the “Ebola czar,” Klain is a close confidante of Biden and previously advised President Obama. He has been vocal in his criticism of President Trump -- particularly his handling of the coronavirus pandemic. Klain is not a doctor or public health expert; he’s a lawyer with deep experience in politics. Now, Klain is expected to make the virus a top priority. Because, he believes, it was Trump's “slow response” and “downplaying the threat” that devastated the country with businesses’ and schools’ shutdowns and lockdowns -- not the thugs like Cuomo, Newsome, or Whitmer. The threat has proven to be overblown, but I have doubts that Klain will truly listen to the scientists.
Neera Tanden, Office of Management and Budget director
Tanden is a chief executive of the left Center for American Progress. She is not an economist, but a political activist and organizer who worked in the Clinton and Obama administrations (ObamaCare reform), and for Hillary Clinton’s campaigns. If Tanden takes control of the OMB (which is questionable), then the office will be run by someone who believes that the deficits and the debt should be no obstacle whatsoever to further government spending and suggests the “oil rich countries” in the Middle East should cover it. In addition to that, she was accused of becoming physically aggressive toward a CAP staffer who had dared to question Hillary Clinton about the Iraq War, and she once outed an employee who had filed a sexual harassment complaint.
Council of Economic Advisers: chair Cecilia Rouse (served in both Clinton and Obama administrations), Jared Bernstein and Heather Boushey (both served Biden during his VP tenure).
Janet Yellen, Treasury secretary
Yellen is a former Federal Reserve chair. During her tenure, the central bank launched experimental programs that ballooned its balance sheet to $4.5 trillion. Stocks soared, but economic growth was below par and wealth disparity hit historic levels. As reported by CNBC, the dichotomy between the market and the economy will be one of the most lasting parts of the Yellen legacy: while the S&P 500 was up about 325 percent since the 2009 lows, wage gains had barely kept up with inflation and income inequality has soared. Talk about taking care of Main Street America!
As we can see, Biden’s presumptive nominees mark a return of the “swamp”-- people with strong relationships in Washington D.C. elite and global capitals. We’ve seen those faces before; we have first-hand experience with their policies that failed America. But it seems that for the Democrat establishment America is not an objective, but a source and object of their power.