Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Bring Back The Fat Kid...

Peter Beinart expresses the progressive's frustration with Obama and articulates why BO will never be an FDR:

The more fundamental difference between the Obama era and its New Deal and Great Society predecessors is this: Back then, progressives did not define the left end of the political spectrum. In the 1930s and 1960s, America featured honest-to-goodness alternatives to capitalism, home-grown radical movements that scared the crap out of the American establishment and sent some of its denizens scurrying into arms of reformers like FDR and LBJ. Because our entire ideological spectrum has shifted right since communism’s collapse, reforms that once looked like centrist compromises now look like the brainchild of Chairman Mao.

It's an interesting perspective. It's easy to assume that Cold War era America - with all that McCarthyism, Watergate and Reaganism - must have been more right wing than today. But it ain't so. It wasn't until the Cold War was done that we drifted rightwards. The absence of the Commie threat apparently made us slide like a fat kid had just got off the other end of the teeter totter.

Back in the day, you could talk about unions without automatically conjuring up images of thugs and Mafiosi. You could advocate for the working folks without those same working folks hanging you in effigy at Teaparty rallies. You could call a spade a spade... and a corporate crook a corporate crook. But not anymore. Will we ever get back to reality? As an existential threat to concentrate the mind on moderation in our world, the skinny-ass Islamofascists on the other end of the teeter totter sure ain't hacking it. Bring back the Commies!


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