Robert Rubin-Former Treasury Secretary (1995-1999)
Gene Sperling-Former National Economic Adviser for President Bill Clinton (1997-2001)
Lawrence Summers-Former Treasury Secretary (1999-2001)
Laura Tyson-Former Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers (1993-1995), Former National Economic Adviser for President Bill Clinton (1995-1997)
Paul Volcker-Former Chairman, U.S. Federal Reserve (1979-1987)
The following advisers will participate by phone
Warren Buffett-Chairman and CEO, Berkshire Hathaway
William Daley-Former Commerce Secretary (1997-2000)
Paul O'Neill- Former Treasury Secretary (2001-2002)
Joseph Stiglitz- Former Chairman, CEA (1995-1997)
Let's just review - we have Rubin, the architect of NAFTA, the guy who championed Wall Street deregulation as Clinton Treasury secretary, and an executive at a bank at the center of the current crisis; Sperling, Summers and Tyson who also championed Wall Street deregulation under Clinton; Daley, who was the chief Wall Street favor-granter as Commerce Secretary and NAFTA advocate; Volcker, a right-leaning former Fed chairman; Buffet, perhaps progressive on taxation, but nonetheless the world's richest man and not a progressive; and Paul O'Neill who, despite his criticism of Bush on non-economic issues, is a conservative economic ideologue.
The only progressive person you have in this bunch is Stiglitz. You can disagree around the edges (for instance, you can claim that Buffett is more progressive than I believe he is). But it is absoutely undebatable that there's not a single representative from the progressive/labor/New Deal wing of the Democratic Party. Not a one. There's not a single "new" person here - a single person that represents fundamental "change" in the transformative way it is being billed.
This isn't Lincoln-esque Team of Rivals - this is a team of Washington insiders and Wall Street yes-people, an incredibly - nay, shockingly - narrow Establishment world view. Just like the media continues to ignore those who originally opposed the Iraq War and grant the aura of credibility to those who started it, Obama's selection ignores the wide variety of movement progressives who have been predicting this meltdown for years, in favor of those largely representing a world view that brought us to this point.
If this is "diversity" of opinion, it will make the phrase "the more things change the more they stay the same" the motto of the 2008 campaign.
And I know I know, folks. Its a high sin to question any Democrat during any election ever, because elections are all about elections, and not about issues, and we should never use elections as means of pressure, nor should we ever consider the truth or just an honest assessment of what's actually going because that would definitely, most certainly, harm our election prospects, rather than making our candidate more progressive, and better able to win the election...and anyway, despite and entire American history to the contrary, we should just trust that if our guy gets elected, he'll suddenly abandon all the corporate donors and conservative positions he took on the campaign trail and be a great progressive champion...
I know, I know, all of that - the facts, the economic crisis - all of it is a dangerous "threat to the cause" and honestly, what the hell am I doing - no, really, WHO THE FUCK DO I THINK I AM - using precious web-page bandwith supposedly helping throw the entire election to John McCain, because even during the second coming of the Great Depression, its an unpatriotic threat to even bring up the fact that Democrats are actually also contributing to the economic meltdown in front of us - in fact, it must mean I'm a paid Republican or Nader conspirator - yeah, FUCK ME and my record of electing progressives to office and starting a national progressive state-based advocacy group from scratch, and clawing my way into newspapers with a movement progressive column, because I'm the enemy, because the only goddamned thing that's important is winning...regardless of whether we didn't use the election makes sure winning means something more than a person with a D behind their name in the Oval Office, and anyway, I should just shut the fuck up - and actually, who the hell lets this insufferably disloyal d-bag post at this site - because I'm just as know-it-all who has no real "substantive" beef because who knows anything knows that only a hateful "purist" would dare to point out that lots of people who worked in the Clinton administration weren't totally progressive forces who had absolutely nothing to do with the boom-bust meltdowns of the last decade...Better yet, we should be absolutely CERTAIN Obama is not taking orders from Wall Street and that there are real progressives he's stealthily working with who just don't happen to be in the NY Times photograph, or in his press releases, or on his campaign staff - we should be sure of this because we've been vaguely reassured by it, or one of our friend's told us he'd heard his cousin's liberal Ivy League professor was once called by an Obama surrogate for advice, and we should also be sure he's he's not going to be a Wall Street yes-man even as he pockets $10 million in campaign contributions from Wall Street ...and besides, anyone who dares to want the election to actually mean real change is a dim-wit who doesn't understand that the Founding Fathers wanted elections to be all about winning the election, and nothing else...
I know all this, but still think its important to point out, ya know, the truth. Perhaps some in the activist class of both parties have the financial luxury of ignoring the truth and demanding that we all ignore the issues for the sake of partisan unity, but the average American cannot afford 4 more years of the same crowd running the economy - whether that crowd wears Obama or McCain stickers on their silk lapels.