Obama Will Not Stand Up for His Party's Politics
In his new book,
Pity the Billionaire: The Hard-Times Swindle and the Unlikely Comeback of the Right,
Are you a class warrior?
What's really curious is you often hear a guy like
I think he's denounced the idea of classes.
He denounced the whole idea of classes but then he plays on it really fortissimo, talking about his blue-collar ancestors, and how they worked so hard, and his outreach to working people, his contempt for Obama as a snob. That's a class term. These people want to have it both ways.
Why did the left let conservatives get away with this?
The main reason is that there isn't much of a left in America. Organized labor would be the traditional bearer of the New Deal economic vision, and they really have been beaten. The mainstream Democrats -- their heart was never in it. They might do things like the stimulus package [and] healthcare reform. But they have a lot of trouble talking about why they're doing them. They could not confront the other side on the ideology of it.
So what is the ideological answer?
You remember in World War II -- and I still to this day don't understand why the Obama people didn't use this imagery -- they used to call it the Four Freedoms. One of them was freedom from want. You had "town hall summer," 2009; all those angry people showed up at the town hall meetings to berate their member of
And it's a poor response to charges of elitism.
The term for that is walking into the buzz saw. This is what the Democrats do again and again. And the really creepy thing is that there's a lot of accuracy about that critique, because the Democrats are before our eyes becoming the party of professionals. Now they might be lucky this fall because
Have Democrats learned their lessons?
Obama's rhetoric has changed. There's been this very recent shift toward populism. But it's been a very strictly superficial shift. It's strictly in terms of rhetoric. The way these people think, all battles are battles over the center. So they look at a critique like mine and say, "Well, this guy is saying that in order to deal with this challenge on our right that we should move to our left, and anybody can see that that doesn't make any sense."
Is this pure free-market conservatism a viable long-term strategy for the
I don't think that they need to go much longer. The point is to prevent something like the New Deal from ever happening again. They've already won, because they did prevent it. In a sort of perverse sense they should thank
What do you make of the "99 percent" and Occupy movements?
What I loved about the 99 percent thing is that that really struck home. Millions of Americans could read that and say, "Oh my God, that's me." Camping out in a public space is very different. That doesn't have the same kind of appeal.
What can Romney learn from the new conservatism?
He's got to learn how to do it. He tries to talk that way, talk about tyranny or talk about the terrible crisis of having
What can Obama learn from your book?
The public is deeply distrustful of government. At times like this it should be the other way around. Think of all the incredible corporate scandals of the last decade. He should be making the case for government. His party is going to be ID-ed as the party of government whether they like it or not. He should be out there fighting for that. If you had to put your finger on one failing that is an umbrella for all of the other ones, that's what it is. The man will not stand up for his party's traditional politics.
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Obama Will Not Stand Up for His Party's Politics | Politics
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