“Obscure to most, I found Rawlsians infiltrated the socioeconomic impact studies at Yucca Mountain and have known how radical these people are.”
Actually, Rawls was pretty mild compared to Marx. He fully endorsed a meritocracy so long as resultant inequalities were designed to favor those with the least. Most people interpreted his theory as essentially a theoretical justification for liberal Democratic thinking of the 1960’s, i.e., let the market work, but then selectively redistribute wealth to lift some at the bottom. His vision entailed far less redistribution than would a pure Marxist and unlike Rawls, a pure Marxist wouldn’t be comfortable with private property or profits at all.
So in that regard, Obama’s enthusiasm over Rawls is surprising. He actually seems much more radical than Rawls.
I agree with your analysis, except that from my perspective a number of these people used Rawls as a means of continuing Marxist thought under an academic veneer of legitimacy that wasn’t as threatening.