[FoRK] No signal is signal

geege schuman geege4 at gmail.com
Thu Aug 28 12:54:12 PDT 2008


There is even a place under each issue where you can present your own ideas.

On Wed, Aug 27, 2008 at 10:36 AM, Jeff Bone <jbone at place.org> wrote:

> Apropos Stephen's questioning about how I make the sausage, well, here's a
> slight muse about that.
> The most alarming thing about the Democratic convention and about Obama is
> the complete lack of specificity about what the agenda actually *is*.  Even
> the friendly post has started to notice this:
> http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/washingtondc/la-na-assess27-2008aug27,0,1507532.story
> I submit that sometimes no signal *is* in itself a signal.  Bush was
> accused of this in the 2000 campaign and, indeed, all historical evidence
> suggested that he was probably pretty middle of the road.  (He governed in a
> bipartisan manner in Texas, worked across aisles to get things done, and had
> a 70% approval rating.)  Yet in hindsight it appears that there was a rather
> well-orchestrated attempt at that time to *not* talk about what appears to
> have been a well thought-out a priori agenda (for example, the immediate
> moves in office -wrt- the energy task force as well as certain immediate
> pieces of social conservative legislation, which had to have been drafted
> and coordinated with the incoming administration well ahead of taking
> office) for fear of "scaring" the moderate middle.
> In Obama's case it's historically clear that he has presented himself as
> even less of a moderate than e.g. Bush did in his campaign, so the concern
> is that he may be disguising an even more extreme agenda than did Bush in
> the run-up to 2000.  Moderate and libertarian Obama advocates are fond of
> seizing on and mentioning such things as his "don't tax startups" comment
> and his selection of "economic advisers" as indications that Obama is going
> to be an economic moderate;  but for each of those things there are the
> occasional slips, such as the "economic justice" comments and others, that
> in my opinion bely his true nature:  FDR redux, the big-government liberal
> incarnate, the first of a new generation trying to resurrect old ideas.  And
> over it all the deafening silence where a more detailed agenda would
> otherwise be.
> There are two possibilities:  first, that there is no well-formed agenda
> yet.  That seems quite unlikely, given that he's been prepping for this for
> most of his adult life, and working towards it in collaboration with certain
> central factions of the Democratic caucus since at least 2004.  The other
> possibility is that there is more of an agenda than they're letting on for
> fear that they'll spook the moderate middle.  The position papers and other
> offerings that have been put forth are striking in their minimalism.
> And the backdrop to all of this is that the Democrats are likely to firmly
> hold both houses of Congress, so the trifecta --- the unchecked power to
> implement whatever they like --- is there, in their reach for the first time
> in a long time, and they've been slighted and undermined for years...  Do
> you really think the true believers, who are now the movers and shakers and
> motivators in that party, unlike under Clinton --- do you really think
> they're going to jeopardize their shot at the brass ring by *really* being
> up front about what they intend?
> Weight your estimates accordingly.
> $0.02,
> jb
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