Saturday, November 22, 2008

A "Newer" New Deal for Obama and the U.S.?

Even before Obama was elected president, a recurring issue that was brought up by commentators and the political left has been whether his election is a prelude to a new version of FDR's "New Deal." The New Deal revitalized the American economy at a time of its worst depression through government investing in jobs programs. According to Michael Lind over at Salon.com , a "Newer" New Deal is just what is needed in the Obama administration; further, according to him, by promoting economic liberalism, Obama would then bring in a supermajority of conservatives into the Democratic coalition.

First, consider Lind's findings on public support for New Deal policies. From expanding unemployment benefits (76%) to supporting a public-works style jobs creation project (86%), the American people have incredibly strong support for these New Deal policies. Lind's second proposition is one with which I have qualms: He believes that if Democrats emphasized these "Newer Deal programs," that "social conservatives" would be "welcomed to a big-tent party defined almost exclusively by economic liberalism." I unabashedly oppose conservatism, whether it is social, economic (well, not completely there), or otherwise; the thought of sharing a coalition with social conservatives, those who oppose gay rights, abortion rights, and stem cell research, is a chilling one for me.

Would Democrats rule for perpetuity under a New Deal-style economic pursuit with the Obama administration? This seems to make sense, but Lind doesn't go into whether social conservatives would then have a voice in the Democratic Party, something I don't want.

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Saturday, November 01, 2008

Barack Obama for President

For those of us who envision an American foreign policy that balances aggression with circumspection, a domestic policy that favors policies towards the working and middle class, and a theory of governance that considers special interests to be an anathema to democracy, there is only one choice in this presidential election, and that is Barack Obama. At this critical juncture in the country's trajectory, at this moment where America is on the precipice of a major financial crises, strong, capable leadership is what is required, and this is exactly what Obama can deliver.

Obama's economic plan and health care plan, admittedly, would require some financial investment up front, but both would ensure long terms savings in consumer spending and would genuinely assure, at least in health care, real reform for the first time in years. On the environment, a topic that has all but disappeared from American public discourse, Obama would restore the environmental regulations that have all but disappeared under the Bush presidency, and he would bring the country into a new green economy, one that McCain would only be drawn kicking and screaming into.

Obama offers the promise of a new foreign policy in Iraq, one that finally withdraws troops from that neverending conflict, and he would provide some much-needed immediate credibility in foreign relations, something that has been severely damaged during the cowboy diplomacy of the Bush administration.

For these and a host of other reasons, including the prospect of having someone as talented as Joe Biden also in the White House, I wholeheartedly endorse Barack Obama for president.

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