Thursday, December 31, 2009

Obama's 1st Year

Inch by Inch: Obama is Moving Mountains by Andrew Sullivan

Interesting level-headed critique of Obama's first year.

"In some respects, the right, however unhinged, understands the importance of what Obama has accomplished more than the purist, whiny left.

Yes, this first year is marked more by the miracles of what didn't happen - a Second Great Depression, a Second 9/11, an Israeli strike on Iran, a banking collapse, a health insurance reform failure - than what did. And yes, Obama is on notice that, whatever the enormity of the mess he inherited, the opposition has no sense of responsibility for any of it and will blame him for everything and anything. All he has going for him is the American public's ability to see through the dust and fury to the realities beneath.

And Obama is changing those realities. More than most seem to currently grasp. This is liberalism's moment - its most fortuitous since 1964, its chance to prove that government is indeed needed at times, as long as it knows its limits, and the balance of the American polity needs active, intelligent government action now. What Obama is doing is trying to cement this new liberal era in the conservative institutional structure of American government.

Against massive, unrelenting, well-moneyed, ideologically manic opposition - and a fickle, purist, prickly liberal elite in his own party.

Well, no one said it would be easy." - Andrew Sullivan

"Politics is the gentle art of getting votes from the poor and campaign funds from the rich, by promising to protect each from the other." - Oscar Ameringer

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Deadlines Focus the Mind

Excellent point by Andrew Sullivan with regard to President Obama's insistence on a time limit for troop withdrawal from Afghanistan:

"That time-line the GOP hawksters are decrying: it seems to have jolted Afghanistan's leadership into less complacency.

One weird contradiction in current conservative thought. Isn't an open-ended commitment of arms and money and troops to a weak foreign country a dangerous form of dependency-generating welfare?

If we can have welfare reform domestically, why can we not have it internationally?"