For any who may care, I posted this ditty on the always rousing Candide’s Notebooks:
Nobody yet knows which way Obama will break, though the signs inherent in the staffing selections and the eagerness for voluntarily “reaching across the aisle” give little reason for optimism.
True renewal at this point is quite easy and obvious, given the thirty years* of extreme damage wreaked by the Great Restoration of the investing classes.
FWIW, here’s my short list of acid tests:
1. Structural (not just fleeting) assistance to the working class, to redress the root of the economic crisis, which is way too much money going to the top. This must involve a serious revision of our hijacked tax codes. If Obama were a true renewer, he would also include labor-law reforms to help unions and large new public employment programs.
2. The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty: The USA should comply with it — we are not doing so, and have not ever really done so — and refuse to send money or offer alliances to all non-signatory and non-compliant nations. On our side, this would mean actually pursuing world disarmament. Obama says, on occasion, he’ll take this path. Let’s see it.
3. Movement away from cars-first transportation, which is a path to energy collapse-apocalypse, even with the greenest of Al Gore’s fantasies coming true. [Obama-optimists take heed: “We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories.” [Inauguration speech] At the same time, Obama cautions us that “We will not apologize for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defense.” These are NOT encouraging words, at any level.]
5. Strengthening and democratization of the UN.
* The problem we face precedes the just-departed super-war-criminal GW Bush. The problem is our overclass, which has only one answer to every boom and every crisis: “All for ourselves, and nothing for other people.” The “Reagan Revolution” brought a sterner, stronger imposition of this governing principle, which has since been respected every bit as much by “New Democrats” as by Republicans.