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Posts tagged ‘Biden’

On Pipe Dreams

I stumbled upon two good pieces today at Washington Monthly’s “Political Animal” that I’d like to share. In a way, they are related, and in a broader sense they both touch upon some recent discussions we’ve had here at Once Upon a TPM and elsewhere.

Seems to me that many far-left progressives have been threatening to stay home in November, or vote Green Party (which, much as they hate to hear it, are one and the same thing). Steve Benen addresses this concern in his first piece, here:

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2010_09/025740.php

In fact, a lot of the Obama administration’s accomplishments were pipe dreams.

A near-universal health-care system? Why would Obama and the Democrats succeed when Truman, Nixon, Carter, and Clinton had all failed, and politicians as adept as FDR and LBJ refused to even make the attempt? They’ve seen the numbers, right? The health-care industry is bigger now, and richer, and there are no more liberal Republicans. There’s no way.

A $787 billion stimulus? Yes, it was too small. But everything Washington does is always too small. And within the confines of that stimulus, the Obama administration and the Democrats in Congress managed to make a host of long-term investments that would’ve been considered huge accomplishments in any other context, but are largely unknown inside this one. Huge investments in green energy, in health information technology, in high-speed rail, in universal broadband, in medical research, in infrastructure. The Making Work Pay tax cut. The Race to the Top education reform program. No recent president has invested in the country on anything like that level.

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