Thursday, 11 September 2008

McCain Would Put Democrats in His Cabinet

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Appearing on the CBS interview program Face the Nation on September 7, Senator John McCain said he would have Democrats in his cabinet if elected president.

Asked how many, McCain said: “I don't know how many, but I can tell you, in all due respect to previous administrations, it’s not going to be a single, you know, ‘Well, we have a Democrat now.’ It’s going to be the best people in America, the smartest people in America.”

McCain, like Barack Obama throughout the presidential campaign, is positioning himself as a candidate for change. In his remarks on Face the Nation, McCain said that he “reached across the aisle to Democrats” in the Senate and also “was very unpopular in some parts of my own party” for some of the positions he has taken. According to McCain, he will bring not just change to Washington but “the right kind of change” and that change will include putting Democrats in his administration.

Over the years, of course, Republicans have replaced Democrats and Democrats have replaced Republicans without significant change occurring in our nation’s interventionist foreign policy or in bigger and more centralized government at home. Would a Republican-Democrat administration really be significantly different from the Republican or Democrat administrations of recent decades?

One reason why both Republican and Democrat administrations have continued the basic policies of their predecessors is because both Republican and Democrat administrations have been dominated by members of the same establishment group — the internationalist-minded Council on Foreign Relations. The extent of this dominance in the upper echelons of the executive branch of the U.S. government would be hard to overstate. When President George W. Bush invited current and former secretaries of defense and state to the White House in January 2006 to discuss the Iraq War, 14 of the 17 participants were CFR members and another two had belonged to the CFR. Only President Bush himself had never been a member. The CFR members attending the meeting included Republican Richard Nixon’s Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and Democrat Bill Clinton’s Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, to cite two examples.

This year’s Republican presidential nominee, John McCain, is also a member of the CFR. Democrat presidential nominee Barack Obama is not a member, but his chief foreign policy adviser, Zbigniew Brzezinski, is. Brzezinski was Democrat Jimmy Carter’s national security adviser, a cabinet-level post. He was also a foreign-policy adviser for John McCain when McCain ran for president in 2000.

Is CFR member Zbigniew Brzezinski one of the Democrats CFR member John McCain has in mind for a cabinet-level post? Brzezinski’s age (80) probably rules him out. But if he were brought into a McCain cabinet (or an Obama cabinet for that matter), he would undoubtedly use the power of his position to propel America on its present trajectory toward more internationalism and global governance. In fact, Brzezinski is an unabashed advocate of world government, though he understands that world government cannot be installed instantly. “We cannot leap into world government in one quick step…. The precondition for eventual globalization — genuine globalization — is progressive regionalization, because thereby we move toward larger, more stable, more cooperative units,” Brzezinski explained in an address to Mikhail Gorbachev’s State of the World Forum in October 1995.

The rise of the European Union is an example of the regional approach to world government advocated by Brzezinski. So is the insider plan to transform NAFTA, the embryonic supra-national government for our own continent, into a full-fledged North American Union modeled after the EU.

Brzezinski’s internationalist views are generally shared by other CFR members who have served in both Republican and Democrat administrations, and who have guided America in the internationalist, big-government direction for decades, regardless of whether the president was a Republican or Democrat. And there’s the rub: regardless of whether John McCain or Barack Obama becomes president, he will likely rely heavily on CFR members for upper-echelon positions, and the basic policies coming out of the White House will stay on course regardless of the change now being promised by McCain and Obama, and regardless if the cabinet consists of Republicans or Democrats or a mixture of the two.

 (AP Images)