Sunday, November 23, 2008

Meet the New Clinton, Same as the Old Clinton

Back in the primary season, when I would tell people that Barack Obama in 2008reminded me of nothing so much as Bill Clinton in 1992, many of them looked at me like I had just said something completely outlandish. (Granted, some of these people may have been small children in 1992...) But now I think we can see that the centrist Democrats are back in charge again.

As a former Edwards supporter deciding between Clinton and Obama back then (an indecision I carried almost all the way to the voting booth), one definite plus I always gave Obama was that he was better on foreign policy. So, what, now what is he about to do? Oh, and let's watch him as he reinstalls a Clinton-style centrist economic team, to reassure Wall Street and raise the Dow for a day or two.

We can only hope that in these turbulent times (though it is worth remembering that Bush I had a bad economic recession at the end of his term too), we will muster enough popular pressure to push Obama in a more progressive direction. I'm not sure how we will successfully manage any of these mounting crises--economic, diplomatic, environmental, health care--without a hard leftward turn away from the conservative and neoliberal policies of the last four decades. I guess Obama throws us a little rhetorical morsel about creating jobs every once in awhile (just like Bill used to do), but it is hard to take much comfort from who is surrounding himself with these days for his advisors and likely top-level officials. And I don't see much unified pushback from the Progressive Left these days, apparently since many of them are still so high from Obama's election (much like we were, I recall, back in '92 when Bill was elected...) But will events and movement pressure someday force a change?

Sorry I haven't posted anything for a very long time...and this post is just a middling level rant. But I do intend to start blogging more often again. Thanks for keeping up with this blog anyway, and thanks to my fellow Lumpenlogocrats for keeping the posts up for the past several months.

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