Sunday, January 24, 2010

Frank Rich on point

It is a mighty rare day when the Clarion Content agrees wholeheartedly with liberal ideologue and New York Times columnist Frank Rich. However, we think he got the tone and tenor of what the Massachusetts Senatorial election signifies about the mindset of American electorate just right.
Obama’s plight has been unchanged for months. Neither in action nor in message is he in front of the anger roiling a country where high unemployment remains unchecked and spiraling foreclosures are demolishing the bedrock American dream of home ownership. The president is no longer seen as a savior but as a captive of the interests who ginned up the mess and still profit, hugely, from it.

That’s no place for any politician of any party or ideology to be. There’s a reason why the otherwise antithetical Leno and Conan camps are united in their derision of NBC’s titans. A TV network has become a handy proxy for every mismanaged, greedy, disloyal and unaccountable corporation in our dysfunctional economy. It’s a business culture where the rich and well-connected get richer while the employees, shareholders and customers get the shaft. And the conviction that the game is fixed is nonpartisan. If the tea party right and populist left agree on anything, it’s that big bailed-out banks have and will get away with murder while we pay the bill on credit cards — with ever-rising fees.
David Brooks and others who have written about the erosion of the American meritocracy, especially in things like college admissions, have sounded this alarm previously, and been ignored. Obama road this anti-elitist wave of anger to power, but has yet to provide any solutions. Until the ground shook this week he was kowtowing to the bankers' man, Timothy Geithner. In the Clarion Content's view the critiques of his health care bill as patently corporatist and written by lobbyists were accurate. Kennedy and Reagan both struggled in their first years, it is not too late for Obama to pivot. Now is the time. This is an inflection point. Can Obama adapt or is he a Clintonista proclaiming a "3rd Way" to appease while pushing the same old agenda?

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