2009.02.27: February 27, 2009: Headlines: Obama: COS - Togo: Writing - Togo: Journalism: The Atlantic: Goerge Packer writes: Obama Swings for Fences

Peace Corps Online: Peace Corps News: Library: Peace Corps: President Obama: 2009.02.27: February 27, 2009: Headlines: Obama: COS - Togo: Writing - Togo: Journalism: The Atlantic: Goerge Packer writes: Obama Swings for Fences

By Admin1 (admin) (141.157.61.152) on Sunday, March 15, 2009 - 9:16 am: Edit Post

Goerge Packer writes: Obama Swings for Fences

Goerge Packer writes: Obama Swings for Fences

"Obama wants to make history. If his political ability is equal to his ambition, he has a better-than-even chance to succeed, because events are the wind at his back. The key will be to keep the broad public on his side, to channel the surge of populism so that it swamps his opponents and not his Administration." Journalist George Packer served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Togo.

Goerge Packer writes: Obama Swings for Fences

Obama Swings for Fences

from Interesting Times by George Packer

Just after Obama’s election, I wrote that his post-partisan style would be the means to achieving his liberal goals. It turned out that the Republicans in Washington wanted none of the first. (Their attitude reminds me of the surrendering Confederate officer who told the Union General Joshua Lawrence Chamberlin, “You may forgive us, but we will not be forgiven. There is a rankle in our hearts of which you little dream. We hate you, sir.”) Now we are all seeing the scope of the second. Look at the front page of today’s Times. The headlines are historic and suggest one of those tectonic political shifts that occur only once every two or three generations: “OBAMA, BREAKING ‘FROM A TROUBLED PAST,’ SEEKS A BUDGET TO RESHAPE U.S. PRIORITIES,” “Tax Rise for Wealthy—Push on Health and Energy,” “A Bold Plan Sweeps Away Reagan Ideas.”

Reagan changed America above all by changing the terms of political discourse. Between his message to Congress on Tuesday and the ten-year budget proposal he released yesterday, Obama has shown that he wants to do the same. There are no more defensive apologies for having to bring government to bear on problems that the private sector can’t solve. He is making, or rather restoring, government as the instrument of a vast social and economic change, summed up in the word “equality.” The Times is right to compare this moment to 1932 and 1980. Yes, a multitude of special interests and political powers await the chance to eat his proposals to death. Yes, it will be difficult if not impossible to achieve everything set out in the budget and reduce the deficit by two-thirds over the next four years. Yes, everyone will be disappointed in some way by the health-care plan that comes out of Congress. Yes, there will be mistakes, perhaps grievous ones, made out of overconfidence or inexperience or inattention.

But Obama wants to make history (and Bill Kristol knows it, in the nerves along the back of his neck). If his political ability is equal to his ambition, he has a better-than-even chance to succeed, because events are the wind at his back. The key will be to keep the broad public on his side, to channel the surge of populism so that it swamps his opponents and not his Administration.




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Headlines: February, 2009; RPCV George Packer (Togo); Presidents - Obama; Peace Corps Togo; Directory of Togo RPCVs; Messages and Announcements for Togo RPCVs; Writing - Togo; Journalism





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Story Source: The Atlantic

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; Obama; COS - Togo; Writing - Togo; Journalism

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