Tuesday, January 13, 2009

BHO from Pres-Elect to Pres

John Nichols has a darling piece for the Progressive that joins works by Adolph Reed and Doug Henwood in the canon of the left-Obama-critics. Nichols falls out with the latter two - if only as a matter of tone - with his insistence that Obama is at heart - if not in deed - "a progressive.*" Due to the ideological vagaries of American political culture, and the slings and arrows of electoral politics, Nichols believes Obama will gravitate towards centrism (maybe re-frame it as "post-political" or plain "pragmatism") and carry out what some have called "compensatory neoliberalism," or a plodding, market-based liberal reformism. But, but...Nichols contends that Obama, thinking as he does (progressively) and being who he is (a progressive), could be leveraged into behaving "progressively" by the Left - were the Left to mobilize, enunciate, get its shit together, etc.

Does this sound like an obvious point, one that you've made in your own heads 1,000 times? Absolutely. But sometimes it's nice to see your thoughts grafted onto someone else's voice. Well, it is for me at least. Great artcl, but given its 'self-evident' nature there's no blurb I can find that doesn't seem almost redundant, given the OG demographic. Anyway, it's bigger than the sum of its pieces and joints.

*In light of this blurbless link and my blurb about it, a question?

1) Does the term "progressive" denote a discrete set of ideologies/practices/texts in Barack Obama's USA 2009? If so, can we isolate some of those keystones?

2) Bonus question: how does the socialist wing of the Democratic Party feel about the Progressive Democrats of America? Do we get into Trot-style# ideologiko-rumbles? Or are we chums just like Lucy and Ethel? Obviously we know where the Trots for Romney come down on this one.

# Let me apologize. That link is horrid. 'Looks like a Maoist critique of les Trots, but it feels like an anthropological curiosity if you're me, which you aren't, so that link is unfair. Avoid it.

1 comment:

brown beard said...

I'm sure there's plenty of labor maneuvers that can be put on the progressives' list, but you all surely will have that covered. from the geologist:

-diversification of energy exploration and development (like geothermal, hydrogen, wind, etc. paired with continued hydrocarbon exploration). And Shell shouldn't be taking the lead on this--it's not in their interest right now. These technologies needs some federal investment $$ to NEW private companies (or gov't agencies) to gain a foothold. This may be "pragmatic" as well, but I can't imagine that destructuring the big oil 's monopoly on U.S. energy will be a breezy task. There're lots of pigs in that blanket.