The Politics Of Contrast Triumphant
In my first post for Talk Left in the summer of 2006, I wrote:
How did FDR do it and can Democrats defend FDR liberalism today? Maybe not by calling it FDR liberalism but they surely can and do when they have the courage of their convictions. The most prominent of these instances was the fight to save Social Security Faced with Media hostility, Republican demagogy and flat out lies, Democrats rallied to the FDR liberalism banner and crushed the Republican attempts to roll back the clock. FDR would have been proud of Democrats in that fight. No triangulation. Good old fashioned political populism won the day.
And that is FDR's lesson for Obama. Politics is not a battle for the middle. It is a battle for defining the terms of the political debate. It is a battle to be able to say what is the middle. . . The lesson of Hofstadter is to embrace liberal governance and understand populist politics. It may sound cynical, but you must get through the door to govern. Lincoln knew this. FDR knew this. Hofstadter knew this. I hope Obama can learn this.
Last night, Barack Obama demonstrated he has learned that lesson. No more Post Partisan Unity Schtick. Last night was the Politics of Contrast. And it was Hillary Clinton's supporters, the Clinton Wing of the Democratic Party, that helped teach him. Remarkably, Barack Obama ran to the base rhetorically in the general election. More . . .
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