The president has conceded too much and it is naive to believe that the constitutionally questionable super congress is going to do anything but reject progressive tax reform. The most that the president would be able to do it seems is to allow all of the Bush tax cuts to expire which would put added burdens on middle income folks. The bottom line is the president has completely abandoned the progressive economic agenda.
I do hold out hope for Ron Paul getting the nomination but the outreach to progressives is slow. It may be that the campaign wants that outreach to be grassroots oriented rather than official so as not to offend Republican voters. He may gain some ground with cultural conservatives with that strategy but with there being several violence loving cultural conservative candidates in the race, his gains there will be severely limited. The cultural conservatives who would vote for him are not the type who harbor paranoid views about progressives, so I don't think this current unofficial outreach strategy has any merit. Unless he openly courts progressives for crossover votes, the primary is lost.
If the primary is lost, Ron Paul needs to reach out to progressives and form a candidacy, complete with running mate and proposed cabinet. Under plan A, I have suggested that Gary Johnson be Paul's running mate. Under plan B, I would suggest Johnson be appointed OMB director and make Dennis Kucinich Vice President.
I would suggest that Paul hold off on naming Secretary of State and hint that he might want Obama to take that role. Obama, despite his fumbles, still has respect in the international community, and candidate Paul openingly considering this possibility would allay fears of isolationism and extremism. Joe Biden might also be considered for this post.
Defense might also be kept open and John McCain's name be mentioned; although, his apprehnsion toward substantial pentagon cuts might disqualify him. In the alternative, Jesse Ventura has long been a Ron Paul fan and has proved he is more than an entertainer. If not this post, Ventura ought to be recommended for CIA Chief or National Security Advisor. Ventura, being the patriot that he is, will deflect charges of isolation and treason that will inevitably arise as deep cuts are made in the military industrial complex.
As Commerce Secretary, Paul might consider appointing the great job killer, Mitt Romney to fire himself by closing the department if he cannot show that it really does support job creating businesses. Again, shield against extremist charges. In the alternative, appoint Romney ambassador to France and give the position to Ralph Nader because what we need now in our commerce is a real extremist advocating fair and open trade.
At Labor under plan A, I have advocated Kucinich and I am not changing my mind by pushing for Bernie Sanders. Sanders could also serve as Treasury Secretary but let's do something for ordinary Americans for a change and make Elizabeth Warren the woman who signs our notes. If Bernanke does not open the books and vaults, fire him immediately and put Robert Reich in his place.
At Agriculture give Jim Hightower the mission to end subsidies for giant agribusinesses while encouraging local producers, farmers' markets, farmers' cooperatives and hemp. Throw the cultural conservatives a bone and tell Secretary of Interior Sarah Palin to get back to her redistributive populist roots in her dealings with big oil. Keep her in line by making Robert Kennedy, Jr. head of the EPA.
While Attorney General Napolitano prosecutes her husband and the rest of the bipartisan gang of war criminals, put Laura Bush in charge of dismantling No Child Moving Ahead while empowering responsible, intelligent, creative and enthusiastic teachers and local school districts with the funding, support and recognition they need and deserve. If she can get that in place locally everywhere, grant President Paul his wish and close the doors.
Let Jessie Ventura appoint an undersecretary for homeland security to dismantle it and merge what is working with agencies in the defense, intelligence and state departments. While he is at that, have Howard Dean merge the DEA and the ATF with Health and Human Services.
Appoint Michael Dukakis to build a real interstate high speed rail system supplemented by well funded state and local public transportation systems. Let him work out a trust busting and jobs replacing agreement with the Boeing, Lockheed, etc. to build a new generation of larger, faster, more fuel efficient commercial airplanes. Put the FCC under his wings and make affordable universal high speed internet a reality. Pay for all of this by raising the gasoline tax to a dollar a gallon with discounts of a penny for each percent of renewable fuels and by selling the Interstate highway system to states and private companies.
I am sure my libertarian friends would like to replace a number of these appointees while my progressive friends are spewing hot coffee all over their keyboards when they read a few names. In the end what needs to be done is a to name a truly trans-partisan executive branch after the primaries and ahead of the general election while sticking to a modified version of Ron Paul's transition plan which we will call henceforth the American Democracy Renewal plan. OK we'll call it the American Democratic Republic Constitution Renewal Plan.
I welcome other suggestions as we need to get this Plan B in together before all the prefabricated destruction takes place.