On Thursday, President Barack Obama nominated Jack Lew, his current chief of staff, to replace Timothy Geithner as the next Secretary of the Treasury. Lew had been with the Office of Management and Budget under both Obama and President Bill Clinton.
Barack Obama is, of course, free to name qualified ideologues to his cabinet — and Lew is exactly the type of true believer Democrats pretend are just pragmatic go-getters. If you have any doubt, remember that Lew once said that budgets are a tapestry: “When it’s woven together, the picture amounts to our hopes and dreams of a nation.”
It’s not this quixotic — poetic, even! — statism that makes Lew unfit for a job as Treasury Secretary. Nor is it that he’s resistant to any genuine reform on entitlements or debt spending, or even that he’s mastered the art of bogus budget cuts. All that only means he’s a perfect fit for the Obama administration. It’s his political hackery and dishonesty that make him a terrible choice.