So here’s a contribution to a symposium on our president that I wrote in the form of advice. An excerpt follows:
Maybe our president can fend off creeping Tea-Partyism only by becoming realistic about what’s genuinely possible in our time. So far, Obama has been amazingly tone deaf to the concerns of ordinary Americans, and his party has become the more elitist of the two. That’s one reason among many that admirable populism is morphing in the direction of an excessive libertarianism. The advantage will go to the party or leader that shows Americans the kind of social sustainability–the right combination of chastened (perhaps more means-tested) entitlements and genuine individual opportunity–that they can believe in.