For what it’s worth, this is my interpretation of Steve Hildebrand’s comments disparaging liberal criticism of Obama during the transition process.
It’s annoying, but useful to the incoming Obama administration. Fending off liberal criticism by repeating centrist mantras about the “most qualified” people broadens their appeal. What Hildebrand lists as what an Obama administration is going to do are arguably progressive priorities. If they can frame their solutions as centrist, it makes their jobs easier. It’s annoying, hinders self-identified liberals’ ability to advocate for policy, and runs the risk of making the left as a whole toxic to mainstream political debate. But it has a purpose and it isn’t necessarily a purpose that’s in opposition to what most liberals want.
So I’m still taking a wait and see attitude. Liberals should continue to critique Obama’s appointees, but they should keep some perspective. Which, by the way, they’re mostly doing, contrary to the claims of beltway apologists.