Monday, March 08, 2010
Return to Brook Farm: we're not there yetTwo years ago I did a post about an article by Elizabeth Drew in which she seemed to yearn for that High Broderian paradise of a world run on "bipartisanship". I compared her vision to the famous 19th-century utopian community of Brook Farm, Massachusetts.
The "Hive" at Brook Farm
In that post I was thinking most immediately of Obama's willingness to campaign hard in the general election if he were the Democratic nominee. As it turned out, he campaigned hard enough. But I'm sorry to say that some of my concerns from then turned out to be justified. Quoting from that post:
I certainly will support Obama with enthusiasm over 100-Years-War McCain - though neither Obama's or Clinton's program on getting out of the Iraq War is adequate. But Obama's post-partisan hopes give me more of a chill than a thrill when I think of how determined and relentlessly partisan today's authoritarian Republican Party is. ...That post contained a campaign quote from Obama:
Everybody has got a ten-point plan on everything. You go to Senator Clinton's Web site, my Web site, they look identical.... The problem is not the lack of proposals. The question is, who can bring Democrats, independents, and Republicans into a working majority to bring about change. That's what we're doing in this campaign. This is what a working majority looks like. That's how we're going to move the country forward. That's what I offer that [Hillary Clinton] can't do. [my emphasis]My concern at that time was whether this was campaign boilerplate or whether he seriously thought an Obama administration could function on such a basis.
I also said then:
I really don't mean to be cynical about this. Hey, I'm a Jacksonian Democrat, I really believe in change being demanded "from the bottom up". Pretty much every reform or major policy change to benefit working people has come about that way, as far as I can see. Without that, we have two parties of Big Capital arguing over the best way to bail out billionaires who, say, staked a lot of cash on Bear Stearns. Just to take a random example. And I think we could very well be experiencing a national "democratic moment", to use a Jerry Brown term.That same basic dilemma is still acting as an anchor hung around the necks of the Obama administration and the Democratic majorities in the Congress.
Tags: barack obama, obama administration
| +Save/Share | |
Links to this post:
No subject for immortal verse
That we who lived by honest dreams
Defend the bad against the worse."
-- Cecil Day-Lewis from Where Are The War Poets?
[Tip: Point cursor to any comment to see title of post being discussed.]
SEARCH THIS SITE
News & Media Links