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I suspect that an Obama Administration might end up enacting fundamental and beneficial change because all of the alternatives will fail to work.  His final and saving graces may turn out to be his possession of "a first rate intellect and a first rate temperament."  Given the abyss that will be yawning in front of a nation that has a Democratic President and Congress and is yet too timid to truly confront the problems, he should have the intellect to understand and the temperament and oratorical skills to promote effective, and hence fundamental, change.  He might, like Bush, squeak by in four years without having done much very fundamental, but in eight years it will be the end of our country as any of us have ever hoped it might become.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Oct 14th, 2008 at 02:53:24 PM EST
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... policy of expanding the size of the military, almost all his other policies fail in scope rather than in direction. His New Energy policy is in the right general direction, even if inadequate ... his health care reform is in the right general direction, even if falling 1/3 short of Universal (which is why I call it a Versal Health Care plan) ... and half steps in the right direction are less likely to have to be undone later.


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Tue Oct 14th, 2008 at 03:39:48 PM EST
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Agreed.  Furthermore, proposing comprehensive, effective solutions to the problems you discuss would be political suicide in the current climate.  He will not only have to be driven to fundamental change, he will have to be seen to have been driven to such solutions by the force of events.  If he can accomplish a few effective changes, his charisma will enable him to do more.

Perhaps the best solution to the health care mess would be to establish an optional government run system as an expansion of Medicare and then enact rules for the behavior of insurance companies, such as taking all comers, disallowing increased premiums based on existing conditions, etc.  With vigorous enforcement of such rules insurance companies would cease to be parasites on the system and most would exit the field.  The noxious blabberers would likely be highly disappointed by a competitive market run according to rules favorable to the public and the consumer.

Solutions to energy and transportation could be rolled together as The National Security Power and Electric Railway Program, like Ike's 50s interstate highway program.  Arguments by neo-cons for redeployment of US overseas forces could be adapted to arguments for their being brought home.  The effect of a large military on the overall economy is far less when it is at home.  Then it could be scaled down.  Both steps could be correctly sold as necessary steps to preserve the economic strength on which US military might rests.  

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Oct 14th, 2008 at 04:01:03 PM EST
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who said (and I paraphrase), when the shitstorm hits, people go to the ideas which are laying around.

Too bad there's nothing like a Progressive Think Tank Site with a whole bunch of Progressive Ideas lying around, from economics to science to etc., that a lazy Obama administrator could turn to in a pinch.

Too bad, too bad.

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.

by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Tue Oct 14th, 2008 at 04:11:23 PM EST
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I don't know who said it, but yes. And it is too bad.

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Oct 15th, 2008 at 08:46:38 AM EST
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Dems generally don't use think tanks like Reps.  Obama will, I hope, stay the hell away from the think tanks.  We need to get the faux-academia out of government.

As Maher put it, "New Rule: You can't call yourself a think tank if all your ideas are stupid."

All the good academics are liberals.  Who needs think tanks?

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Wed Oct 15th, 2008 at 08:49:53 AM EST
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