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Saturday
Jan122019

POLITICS (National): President Barack Obama -- legacy? establishment vs. radical?: Analysis/Commentary (T.A. Frank), "Hope vs. Change: Why Some Democrats Are Turning On Obama" .... 

* Vanity Fair (T.A. Frank):  "Hope vs. Change: Why Some Democrats Are Turning On Obama's Legacy" - "Obama was a visionary who gave us the Affordable Care Act, DACA and the Paris deal, but many of the country's most ominous trends also proceeded under his watch. Now, in advance of 2020, a new generation of Democratic candidates is reconsidering his hstory -- perhaps in regards to how it aids their prospects." - From Vanity Fair:

If no one seems to care that Elizabeth Warren has made her candidacy for president semi-official, let it also be said that no one seems to care that Joe Biden is about to do the same. As the public’s attention starts to focus on the primaries of 2020—God, didn’t we just do this?—many Democrats are acting as if Donald Trump, who’s having a good day when his approval ratings stay in the 40s, would beat most of the field. Maybe that’s because they’re still recovering from the shock of 2016. But maybe it’s more serious than that. If today’s Democrats can’t beat Trump, then maybe Hillary Clinton wasn’t as bad a candidate as her critics claimed. And if Clinton wasn’t the problem, then what was the problem? Such questions are behind a recent spike of debates on the left over Barack Obama’s record. More and more voices seem to be saying, either obliquely or bluntly, that Obama was a bad president.

Certainly, almost anyone on the left will agree that Obama was preferable to his Republican opponents. If they object to how Obama handled issues such as health care, finance capitalism, immigration, economic stimulus, trade, or war and peace, it’s not because they feel a Republican president would have been better. That makes it tempting to say that Obama is being criticized only for pushing insufficiently to the left, settling for the Affordable Care Act rather than Medicare for All or a stimulus package under a trillion dollars rather than one twice that size. But such an explanation tends to assume a difference of degree rather than kind, with Obama dwelling in a more purplish spot than his bluer critics. In reality, the categories that matter as much as left and right are those of establishment and radical. Obama’s record of siding reliably with the former at a time when the zeitgeist had come to favor the latter is the source of much of the tension over his legacy .....................