Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Joan Walsh on the "age of fracture --Can America be put back together again?"

Joan Walsh (Salon):
I came to the end of "Age of Fracture" with the same feeling I had finishing "Stayin' Alive" and "Winner Take All Politics:" Now what? "Age of Fracture" is even more of a cliff-hanger, because its epilogue shows how our new national ideology of markets and freedom, and our lack of faith in any kind of larger collective endeavor, persisted, disastrously, through the presidencies of George W. Bush and Barack Obama (so far, anyway), despite their political differences. It only reinforced the sense of frustration and even fear I've described watching the economic half-measures pursued by the Obama administration in the last two years. Rahm Emanuel enraged Republicans by quipping "You never want a serious crisis to go to waste" to push Obama's agenda in early 2009. But in fact, the White House may have done just that; the Bush White House certainly did. The assault of 9/11 and the larger threat posed by violent Islamic radicalism, followed by the bank meltdown and economic crash of 2008, was exactly the kind of foreign and domestic crisis that in the past combined to heal American fractures and lead to ages of progress. Instead, it looks to have been wasted. MORE...

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