The last few cabinets have been remarkably diverse compared to the ones preceding them. Clinton had the most diverse administration in history, and I believe that Bush followed that up. We’re now getting some sense about Obama’s leaks and already some are asking whether what he’s doing is enough.
I understand this concern. When government changes hands there are literally thousands of jobs up for grabs. As blacks were the demographic that put him over the top it only makes sense that blacks (and other non-whites given the implicit promise of the campaign) get an equitable portion of those jobs.
But while I appreciate the fact that some Obama supporters are thinking of putting his feet to the fire, at least a little, I am also cognizant of the class biases here. What SHOULD be first and foremost is “stuff.” You don’t elect the candidate of your choice solely because you like him. But that stuff should revolve at some level around policy, and we shouldn’t make the mistake of thinking that a more diverse staff will lead to a more progressive set of policy arrangements. Because it’s very possible to have a diverse staff and a rightward leaning policy apparatus.