Leftists who voted for Joe Biden may not be happy with his early staffing choices as the Democrat signals a partiality to close allies rather than far-left ideologues.
Some left-wing activists are already complaining that Biden’s Cabinet choices do not reflect a commitment to their agenda, Politico reported Thursday.
Biden picks draw fire from left
On the campaign trail, Biden pledged to take on “systemic racism” and climate change, among other issues popular with progressives in the party.
With Biden having been dubbed president-elect, progressive groups are pressuring him to build an administration that reflects their priorities, but the Democrat seems to be largely tapping personnel from within the party’s corporate establishment, as Politico notes.
Leftists denounced a “betrayal” on climate policy when Biden selected Cedric Richmond (D-LA), a beneficiary of the fossil fuels industry, for a top post last week, according to the Washington Examiner, and rumors that Bruce Reed, Biden’s former chief of staff when he was VP, could head his budget office have set off alarm bells for Democrats looking to spend big.
Biden has also come under fire for considering Chicago’s former mayor Rahm Emanuel to lead the U.S. Department of Transportation, with critics saying Emanuel’s record on policing is troubling.
“If you want to root out systemic racism, defend democracy, and build a society that leaves no one behind — all worthy goals mentioned in your victory speech — I can think of few people worse for the job than the man who earned the nickname ‘Mayor 1%’ while in office,” Chicago City Council member Rossana Rodriguez-Sanchez wrote in an op-ed for the far-left Jacobin magazine, as the Examiner reported.
Sanders fires warning shot
It all comes as Sens. Elizabeth Warren (MA) and Bernie Sanders (VT) are said to be losing stock in Biden’s potential Cabinet, and as Democrats debate whether the left cost them seats in the House this year.
Nevertheless, Sanders and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) have warned Biden not to let down his leftist supporters after Sanders, who endorsed Biden after ending his White House bid, promised followers the “most progressive” presidency since FDR.
“It seems to me pretty clear that progressive views need to be expressed within a Biden administration,” Sanders told the Associated Press.
He went on: “It would be, for example, enormously insulting if Biden put together a ‘team of rivals’ — and there’s some discussion that that’s what he intends to do — which might include Republicans and conservative Democrats — but which ignored the progressive community. I think that would be very, very unfortunate.”
While Biden might not be making some progressives happy, conservatives nevertheless fear that his presidency would bring radical ideas to reality, like packing the court and ending the filibuster.