Home > Politics > Change We Can Believe In, VIII

Change We Can Believe In, VIII

Change we can believe in: Enacting the Republican agenda

I turn this installment of my Change We Can Believe In series over to Roger D. Hodge, author of the book The Mendacity of Hope: Barack Obama and the Betrayal of American Liberalism, which was published today. Hodge is a former editor of Harper’s Magazine. Scott Horton, a Harper’s contributing editor, posted an interview with Hodge today at the Harper’s website. I’ll quote from Hodge’s response to Horton’s first question. Follow the link for the full interview.

True to their Clintonian principles, President Obama and his advisors have spurned the Democratic Party’s liberal base and have sought to govern by appropriating the policies of the Republican right. Just as Bill Clinton enacted NAFTA and destroyed welfare, Barack Obama has pushed through a health-care program that was inspired by the Heritage Foundation and largely written by the insurance lobby—and he shows every sign of being willing to vandalize Social Security in the name of deficit reduction even though the program has nothing to do with the federal budget deficit. Obama has embraced the Bushite war on terror and has refused to roll back the unconstitutional executive usurpations that so outraged his supporters. . . .

What’s fascinating about the Democrats is how consistently they have squandered enormous political advantages. The party’s leaders have apparently internalized Republican propaganda to the point that they feel they do not deserve to rule; consequently, when Democrats come to power, they always negotiate with themselves prior to meeting their opponents, make the tough-minded decision to betray their most loyal supporters, and profess shock and anger when the GOP—which never makes the mistake of publicly spurning its base—refuses to accept the purported bipartisan compromise. What results, of course, is that the Democratic Party, over and over again, enacts some version of the Republican agenda.

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