Monday, January 25, 2010

You come to change washington, but find it changes you

As per TPM, Ezra, and Yglesias, I am skeptical of Obama's deficit mania both on the politics and on the policy.

I may be being too pessimistic, but its really worth looking at the ways in which its fairly clear that washington's monetary centrism, focused on the needs and worldviews of our current financial and political elites, have changed Obama more than he has changed them. Perhaps this was always going to occur given Obama's tendancy towards mangerial technocraticism rather that populist fire, but its still very depressing.  It's the kind of thing that honestly makes me question the solubility of alot of the nation's problems and the brightness of our future.

Quite simply, all advanced first world democracies operate ona principle wherein the upper classes agree to give a sufficent share of their wealth, prestige, and effort towards the creation of a stable middle class and a safety net for the poor.  In countries where this political agreement never formed, most Latin American Republics, ex-soviet republics, the result is a poor country with very rich people in it. 

To put it another way, one of the promises of the Obama pragmatic change approach is that it will continue the long american tradition of halting and incomplete change towards the better as well as the salvation of the republic from its own inner demons (racism, class divisions, etc).  This aproach worked, to a certain extent, for FDR, it was even tried to a degree under a genuine crisis under Lincoln.

The last thirty years, however, a complex mix of political and social variable has led to a center right colation that sees its liberal counterpart as inherently illegitimate as a governing party even as its own ideology leds inevitability towards corrupt and ineffective governance.  Said ineffectual governance, meanwhile, is very beneficial to the short term interests of the wealthier portions of this country, who will always have the money to tolerate whatever happens here anyway.

If the Obama pragmatic aproach does not work to stall this, and it seems it is not, but that rather the administraiton is becoming to some degree corrupted by the very principles it sought to fight, then more radical, and therefore more damaging solutions may be the only ones that become practicable.

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