April 25, 2009

REMEMBER HOW THE GOP USED TO COMPLAIN THAT BILL CLINTON...:

Big-Spending Conservative (DAVID BROOKS, 4/21/09, NY Times)

[W]hen President Obama summarized his economic policies in a speech at Georgetown last week, he departed from this story line and worldview. Obama’s chief concern was not inequality. It was irresponsibility. Obama didn’t sound like an economic liberal at Georgetown. He sounded like a cultural conservative.

America once had a responsible economic culture, Obama argued. People used to save their pennies to buy their dream houses. Banks used to lend by “traditional standards.” Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac used to stick to their “traditional mandate.” Companies like A.I.G. used to limit themselves to the “traditional insurance business.”

But these traditions broke down, Obama continued. They were swamped by irresponsibility. Businesspeople chased “short-term profits” over long-term investments. Smart people spent more time manipulating numbers and symbols than actually making things. Americans consumed too much and saved too little. America became corrupted by “excessive debt,” “reckless speculation” and “fleeting profits.”

Obama vowed to end this irresponsibility and the cycle of boom and bust. It’s time to get back to basics, he said. He embraced tradition, order and authority. He quoted the New Testament and argued that it is time that the U.S. built its economic house on rock and not sand.

If Republicans aren’t nervous, they should be. Obama is arguing for his activist agenda not on the basis of class-consciousness, which is alien to America, but as a defense of middle-class morality, which is central to it. Obama is positioning the Democrats as the party of order, responsibility and small-town values. If he pulls this mantle away from the Republicans, it would be the greatest train robbery in American politics.


...was both a radical Leftist and just stealing their ideas?

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 25, 2009 6:41 AM
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