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Enter Barack Obama (James Kunstler)

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Tace Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 10:34 AM
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Enter Barack Obama (James Kunstler)
James Kunstler -- Clusterfuck Nation

Oct. 23, 2006 -- History doesn't repeat itself, but it rhymes, Mark Twain famously observed. A hundred and fifty years (roughly) after the civil war, the United States faces another possible political convulsion. The earlier one was over slavery, a moral contradiction so stark and awful, that an emerging modern industrial polity could no longer ignore it. The coming convulsion we face in the 21st century is not so much moral but no less stark: the collapse of a faltering industrial polity in the face of depleting energy supplies. Like the earlier dilemma of slavery, our national leaders refuse to face it.

The years just preceding the Civil War, the late 1850s, have some resemblance to our politics today. They were highly polarized. They produced outcomes in politics (the Kansas Nebraska Act, the Dred Scott decision) that allowed a vicious pro-slavery minority to impose their will on the rest of the nation -- just as a fundamentalist Christian minority imposes its will on the public today.

The 1850s were also a time of disarray in the political parties. The Whig party, which had more-or-less run things since the time of Andrew Jackson, dried up and blew away because it ceased to stand for anything. The opposing Democrats of that day had sold their souls to the pro-slavery interests. In this vacuum of cravenness, the Republican Party formed and nominated a failed one-term congressman turned railroad lawyer from Illinois named Abraham Lincoln to run for president.

Now, in 2006, we have two political parties in disarray. The Republicans are hemorrhaging legitimacy in an unsuccessful military adventure and a sewer spill of scandal. The Democrats are going Whiggish -- sinking in a bog of equivocation. And now along comes a first-term senator from Illinois, Barack Obama, as the most appealing figure of authority in a looming presidential contest.

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INdemo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 11:04 AM
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1. The thing about Obama's announcement
This is all we will here from the MSM for weeks to come..I dont think he's ready. As VP ..well he would be better suited for that position..
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liberalpragmatist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 11:08 AM
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2. "Dems in Disarray!"
Ho-hum. Democrats aren't perfect, but the party is more ideologically coherent than at any point in their history and there's plenty of policy out there that Democrats have produced.

This whole canard that Democrats "have no ideas" or "have no idea what they stand for," is hogwash. Congressional Democrats have some things they have to work on, no doubt, and we still aren't totally on message with foreign policy. But there's nothing to indicate that Democrats are anywhere near a Whiggish death. If the party could survive a full-scale realignment in the 1950s and 1960s, during which time it lost half of its base, it will survive now.
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