Jasper Smith

Commentary on politics, economics, culture and sports.

Dreaming of Bobby

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An Yglesias reader has this to say about Matt’s support for Barrack Obama:

Matt should just accept that his candidate is the least engaged in making bold domestic policy changes and move on. Obama is much more concerned with good government and atmospheric changes domestically and image changes abroad. That’s fine as far as it goes, it just doesn’t go as far as Edwards does.

Right. At the end of the day, Barrack Obama is running as a Bill Bradley-style process liberal, and that usually means stressing foreign policy, political reform, and social issues. It’s a type of campaign that traditionally attracts affluent, idealistic liberals. If this is your thing, Obama’s your man.

If economic justice is your thing, the obvious choice is John Edwards. I think a big problem for American liberalism in general is that, by soft-peddling the economic justice issue in such an incredibly lame fashion, (I mean, America’s safety net is absolutely fucking pathetic compared to the rest of the rich world) “process” liberalism is severely undercut. You can’t expect folks who are worried about homelessness or hunger or hospital bills to get overly worked up about gay marriage or climate change. Indeed, you might very well expect them to oppose progressive efforts in these areas, to the extent that financially-stressed working people tend to be overly susceptible to the siren call of right wing scare-mongering.

It’s no coincidence that the last time the two strains of liberalism were fused in a credible national candidate (Bobby Kennedy) came toward the tail end of a great period of expanding economic opportunity.

I think it’s high time we got our ducks in a row when it comes to economics.


Written by Jasper

December 18, 2007 at 9:46 pm

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