Cabinet Diversity and Jews

I hope that the election of Barack Obama is a sign that the country can move beyond identity politics. While it is understandable that blacks would vote overwhelmingly for Obama, most of us voted based upon the candidate who was the best person for the job, totally ignoring race. That was a great moment in our history. Of course considering how awful the entire Republican field was, along with how terrible the other top tier Democratic candidates were, it didn’t take much to be the best candidate. The prospects of any of those other awful choices becoming president should have been enough to get Americans to drop all racial prejudices and elect Obama.

Unfortunately coverage of the cabinet appointments was often dominated by considerations of diversity. Even if he did make some choices I didn’t agree with, Obama did manage to combine both diversity and competence in his choices.  I hope Matthew Yglesias is writing with tongue in cheek when he wrote, “It seems Barack Obama is giving us a cabinet with no Jewish members. Plenty of Jews in non-cabinet top spots (Axelrod, Summers, Orszag) so I guess we’ll have to just run things from behind the scenes.”

Would Matthew have preferred to see John McCain elected and have Joe Lieberman in the cabinet?

There’s no doubt as to how he would answer that one. I wouldn’t judge government officials based upon their religion, but if I were to root for Jewish influence I’ll take Axelrod and Rahm Emanuel over any number of cabinet officials. Plus Orszag’s position at OMB is actually cabinet level, and Summers’s position as Director of the National Economic Council are hardly trivial.

This should be more than enough for the Ron Paul types to be screaming about a Jewish conspiracy taking over the government. Plus having Axelrod and Emanuel trump having Josh Lyman and Toby Ziegler on The West Wing, and it’s even in the real world as opposed to on television.

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