“The Case for Obama”

Further to Michael’s earlier post

I just read an interesting article by Tim Dickinson in the latest Rolling Stone: “The Case for Obama.” As the article argues, what Obama has accomplished in just his first two years has made his, in the words of historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, “a truly historic presidency.” From her perspective, he doesn’t really have any serious rivals since Lyndon Johnson. Obama has put through an astonishing amount of progressive legislation and yet the x factor Michael speaks of–the feebleness of the Democrats at celebrating these successes, out of fear, I guess, of being branded liberals or, worse, socialists–makes it seem as though he has been weak and bullied into ineffectiveness by Republican intransigence.

Here is Dickinson’s list of the eight key areas of historic progress associated with the Obama administration: averting a depression, sparking recovery, saving Detroit, reforming health care, cutting corporate welfare, restoring America’s reputation, protecting consumers, and launching a clean-energy moonshot. As Kearns Goodwin puts it, Obama has tried to use “the collective energy of the nation to make life better for more people.” Or as Norrie might have said, Obama has tried to change the world so it makes more human sense.

This is off topic but there is in the same issue of Rolling Stone, as an additional incentive, some appetizing excerpts from Keith Richard’s memoirs. Most interesting to me is Richard’s very wry take on Mick Jagger, reminiscent of Dean Martin’s unique friendship with Ol’ Blue Eyes, Dino being the only one in the Rat Pack who could say no to The Chairman of the Board and get away with it.

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