If we see, as is being predicted and is apparently happening now, that President Elect Obama chooses a Cabinet consisting entirely of "re-treads" and those who are firmly entrenched in what is known as "the Center", and even some from "The Right"... What does that mean for us, the American People? What sort of changes can we expect, and why does it matter?
Firstly, there is the very simple and obvious fact that having Progressives in the administration would bring the widest possible differing viewpoint. This is what the President -Elect said he wanted to do (as of course all formers in this position have claimed to want, at first). This is important beyond measure: With a dissenting viewpoint in the mix, a "slam-dunk" proposition is often held up for debate that would otherwise not have happened.... Allowing unforeseen factors to then be brought out into the open (the ridiculous misconceptions of the Bush people on the probable outcomes of the invasion of Iraq being a prime example of this going horribly wrong).
As a hypothetical, let us consider the present situation in Iraq: If the Obama Cabinet unanimously takes the line that a phased withdrawal over 3 years time is the proper course to take... And if the problems and inherent morality down-sides of doing so will be glossed over... Those additional deaths, of both our brave service people and the civilians of Iraq; will be sacrificed for the "Greater Good"... With no one in the inner halls of power speaking on their behalf for immediate withdrawal. We could see the gross failure of "Shock and Awe" mentality all over again.
Another example of failure to view an issue from all angles would be regarding the usurped power of the Executive done during the present Bush administration. Once settled in, and faced with daunting tasks regarding getting a myriad of new legislation passed, there will be pressure for the new administration to keep most of this "new" Executive power for themselves... Self-justified to be done in the name of "Good"... Meanwhile, someone with the Progressive ideals for the sanctity of our Constitution would speak strongly against this: They would argue that these super-Constitutional powers must be returned to their rightful places immediately (the Legislative, Judiciary, and States Rights branches); in order to protect us in the future from the excesses of other possible administrations (such as a Palin one...). This argument may never be fully or seriously heard in the White House otherwise: Swept under the rug in the name of, again, "The Greater Good".
When considering what to do with our badly flawed health care system... A Progressive in the Cabinet would be of prime importance for bringing out the advantages of Single-Payer Not-For-Profit insurance. They would point out that private insurance, in any form, would still be the biggest barrier for increased national health and retaining it in the solution would only be a band-aid of very limited value to the Public. We need someone with no ties to the private insurance industry in there to champion the peoples' needs, not those of the large corporations. This is very hard to find in Washington.... The octopus-like reach of the insurance lobby has touched the palms of nearly everyone.... Except the true Progressives.