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Notes to myself, possibly of interest to others.
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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Michael Kinsley: Lay off the O

It seems to me that a Democratic president who gets us health care reform and tough new financial protection for consumers, who guides the economy through its roughest period in 80 years with moderate success (who could do better?), who ends our long war in Iraq and avenges the worst insult to our sovereignty since Pearl Harbor (as his Republican predecessor manifestly failed to do, despite a lot of noise and promises); a president who faced an opposition of really spectacular intransigence and downright meanness; a president who has the self-knowledge and wisdom about Washington to write the passage quoted above*, and the courage to publish it: that president deserves a bit more credit from the left than Frank is willing to give him.
---Michael Kinsley in the NYT Book Review discussing Thomas Frank's comments (in his new book Pity the Billionaire) - but really "left" intellectuals grumbling (see, eg, Krugman, and especially Yves Smith) - about Obama's presidency.

*From the article: 
Frank quotes a remarkable passage from Obama’s book “The Audacity of Hope” about “people of means” whom he met at Democratic fund-raisers:
“As a rule they were smart, interesting people, knowledgeable about public policy, liberal in their politics, expecting nothing more than a hearing . . . in exchange for their checks. But they reflected, almost uniformly, the perspectives of their class. . . . They believed in the free market and an educational meritocracy. . . . They had no patience with protectionism, found unions troublesome and were not particularly sympathetic to those whose lives were upended by the movements of global capital. Most were adamantly pro-choice and anti-gun and were vaguely suspicious of deep religious sentiment.”

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